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Discos allowed to outsource bill collection

December 23, 2017


Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurates Lahore Ring Road’s southern loop.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurates Lahore Ring Road’s southern loop.

LAHORE: The Ministry for Energy (Power Division) directed the heads of power distribution companies (Discos) on Friday to outsource those service areas where they faced resistance from defaulters. The power division also asked Discos’ chief executive officers (CEOs) to clear backlog of around one million applications related to connections and replacement of defective metres.

Federal Minister (Power Division) Sardar Awais Leghari said at a performance review meeting of Discos here on Friday that companies could outsource those areas where they continue to face severe resentment from bills defaulters and electricity thieves, according to an official.

The CEOs of Islamabad Electric Supply Company, Multan Electric Power Company, Lahore Electric Supply Company, Peshawar Electric Supply Company, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company, Gujranwala Electric Supply Company, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, Sukkur Electric Power Company, Quetta Electric Supply Company and Tribal Area Electric Supply Company and senior officials of the Pakistan Electric Power Company attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed key performance indicators (KPIs) of all Discos.

The KPIs, which were discussed in detail, included the mobile metre reading and its implementation status, registration of consumers’ mobile phone numbers, billing schedule and delay, variance in meter reading, impact on line losses, overall financial impact, accuracy certificate from field officers/officials, number of defective metres, pending connections’ applications, metres required and progress on development work.

The minister suggested outsourcing the areas to the CEOs after he learnt that defaulters and power thieves had even injured many officials on several occasions.

The minister also learned that Discos backlog of over one million applications was related to new connections and replacement of defective metres. Similarly, Discos require around one million metres every month month to clear the backlog and disposal of future applications. Discos’ chiefs demanded that they be provided an effective and updated system to minimise the complaints related to billing.

The official said at present, consumers in all Discos were over 12 million. About two per cent of the meteres would develop defects time to time. Currently, about 500,000 applications for the replacement of defective meters are lying pending with Discos. Every month, the number of such applicants goes up.

The minister directed the officials concerned to place the purchase orders on time and push manufacturing firms for the timely provision of the metres.

The minister directed the participants to improve their KPIs. A new meter should be installed within 15 days after deposition of demand notice. Similarly, a defective metre should be replaced with the new one in one month. He asked the Discos’ top bosses to achieve the 100 per cent target regarding mobile meter reading for domestic/commercial, tubewell and industrial consumers by the end of the next month. “Since I’m ready to help you, you all must contact me directly in case of any major issue,” the official quoted the minister as having said.

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2017