Power defaulters: Electricity default list overstated, says NAB

Ministry says 126,000 defaulters owe Rs112b, but DISCOs say 63,254 defaulters owe Rs76.9b in power dues.

Asad Kharal August 01, 2013
Ministry says 126,000 defaulters owe Rs112b, but DISCOs say 63,254 defaulters owe Rs76.9b in power dues. PHOTO: FILE


The ministry for water and power has quoted inflated figures for unpaid electricity bills, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said.

The power ministry told NAB that 126,000 defaulters owe Rs112 billion in electricity dues, but these figures were found to be exaggerated, said a report by the bureau.

According to the NAB report available with The Express Tribune both the number of defaulters and the amount were far less in the lists provided by the distribution companies (DISCOs).

As per data provided by DISCOs, 63,254 defaulters owe Rs76.9 billion in power dues, the report said.

While helping the electricity suppliers recover their dues the corruption watchdog also discovered glaring mistakes in the billings.

NAB found DISCOs issuing fake and dubious bills and in some instances without names and addresses of consumers, the report said.

Despite repeated reminders by NAB, the chief executives of DISCOs have not provided authentic lists of electricity defaulters so as to expedite the recovery process, the report said.

“The DISCOs are using delaying tactics by not complying orders of the NAB for providing the actual lists,” the report further stated.

On the other hand, despite these circumstances NAB has recovered Rs1.5 billion from electricity defaulters, while electricity connections of all the defaulters were cut off who were using electricity in spite of outstanding dues against them, the report revealed.

Recovery drive was made through NAB and with the help of DISCOs’ officers trained for recovery at all five regional bureaus of the NAB, it said.

The NAB has not approached the defaulters of tribal areas where there is a law and order situation, the report said.

The NAB had started the recovery drive from electricity bill defaulters on the request of water and power ministry.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.

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