KARACHI, Nov 27: The benefit of Rs45 billion provided in subsidy to the Karachi Electric Supply Company by the government should reach people and the power utility ought to reduce tariff, said a representative of the KESC Shareholders’ Association at a public hearing called by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority on Tuesday.

The public hearing was called in the matter of monthly fuel charges adjustment of KESC for the month of September as well as tariff adjustment for the quarter ended in September 2012 at the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA).

The meeting was presided over by acting Nepra Chairman Habibullah Khilji with two members Khwaja Mohammad Naeem and Shoukat Ali Kundi. Nadir Ali Khoso, adviser for Consumer Affairs, Nepra, was also present.

A KESC representative from the regulatory affairs department, Mr Amir, earlier presented a case for September and quarter of July to September. Their total variations were minus 75 paisas on account of reduction in furnace oil prices.

The first consumer to speak, Dr Ahmed Kamal, vice president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while hinting at the efficiency of KESC and the performance of Nepra said that Nepra had given efficiency approval to KESC generation plants even though they showed that their generation was comparatively less than other generation plants in the country as far as the consumption of oil was concerned.

“If the correct generation is settled, the KESC should go even lower in minus in their variations than -75,” he said. Industrialist Arif Bilwani said that the KESC was not following Nepra guidelines. “They don’t listen to any consumers’ complaints or anything else that demands an explanation or reply from them,” he said.

In response, the Nepra chairman said that they should reply to consumers. “And still if they fail to do so then consumers can complain to Nepra or even go to court.”

KESC Shareholders Association General Secretary Choudhary Mazhar Ali presented his observation to Nepra that their notifications and announcements in the form of newspaper advertisements were being given in papers with less readership.

“They are therefore often missed. Please make sure that they are more prominent,” he said to which the chairman said that they would keep that in mind.

He added, “My second point is that in the past six months, the KESC has seen no addition in their consumers. Also no oil price went up by 10 to 12 per cent in the last six months at any stage. But the government of Pakistan has given them Rs45 billion in subsidy. The benefit of this subsidy should go to the consumers. And in view of the huge amount in subsidy, they really ought to give -Rs3.75,” he said.

“And my third point is that loadshedding in the city is not being carried out evenly. If kunda is responsible for more loadshedding in certain areas, then it is KESC responsibility to do something about it.

“Theft of power is also happening in the posh areas, but KESC chooses to ignore this,” he added.

The Nepra chairman’s reaction to this was that loadshedding should be reduced and its system regularised.

Undertaking

Lastly, one of the industrial consumers said: “If the KESC disconnects our power for any reason, they take an undertaking from us for its restoration. This undertaking is that the consumer will not go to the court or make any complaints to Nepra.”

Hearing about this, the Nepra chairman asked the KESC to send them a copy of the undertaking in order for them to decide if they could do that.

Both KESC representatives, Mr Amir and director accounts Mr Rizwan, were asked by the Nepra chairman to reply to all the grievances registered against them in writing.


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