‘High tariff’: 5,000 farmers refuse to pay bills

"According to an estimate agri-tubewell consumers owed the Multan Electric Power Company Rs1.5 billion," says...


October 12, 2012

MULTAN:


Over 5,000 farmers have not paid their electricity bills to the Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) for the last two months as protest against the raise in electricity tariffs, said Riaz Ahmed, the chairman of the Majlis-i-Shura of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad, on Thursday.


He told APP that the farmers were charged Rs4.55 per unit during May. The rates had doubled in June and the farmers were charged as much as Rs13 per unit during peak hours, Ahmed said.

The Pakistan Kissan Ittehad official said that the farmers were facing problems because of the raise in electricity tariffs and the low subsidies on cotton and sugarcane.

Ittehad President Chaudhry Mohammad Anwar warned of a countrywide protest by the farmers to protest against the electricity tariff charged on agri-tubewells. He demanded that the government take notice of the farmers’ plight.

When contacted, the the Multan Electric Power Company spokesperson Jamshaid Niazi said there were over 60,000 farmers who used agri-tubewells in the region.

According to an estimate, he said, agri-tubewell consumers owed the Multan Electric Power Company Rs1.5 billion.

He said the connection of the defaulters would be disconnected in case they failed to pay their outstanding bills.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2012.

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