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LAHORE: The Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) has rejected the overbilling data presented to the ministry of energy (power division) by the Power Information Technology Company (PITC), terming it harmful to its efforts for customer satisfaction.

In a recent briefing to Federal Minister (Power Division) Awais Leghari and other higher-ups, the PITC’s chief executive officer had revealed that Lesco — the country’s largest power distribution company in terms of load and revenue — overbilled over 357m units worth Rs40bn to a huge number of consumers. The minister, however, sought a detailed report from the company that termed the PITC data false and baseless.

“A figure of 357.58m units, which is around one third of the total 1,266m billed units during the month of November last year, was presented as overbilled/manipulated to show reduction in line losses. This allegation is absolutely wrong and it was vehemently denied by the company since it was impossible to overbill customers at such a large scale of Rs40m,” reads a detailed reply sent to the ministry.

The company says the data presented in the meeting has been analysed in depth. The data analysis explicitly refutes the conclusions and inferences drawn by the PITC—a subsidiary of the power division.

“A figure of 95.50m of the total 357.58m units was shown by the PITC as overbilling to 11,524 consumers of batch No 45 whereas the total units billed by Lesco for the complete batch are 40m,” claims the Lesco letter.

It states that the summary of all 47,870 connections taken by the PITC as overbilled (amount) explicitly concludes that the version presented before the minister was misconceived that created an embarrassing situation. The PITC data based on these hypothetical figures is harmful to the efforts launched for customers’ satisfaction.

“As a sequel of the above, it would be highly appreciated if such figures, conclusions and inferences be shared with the distribution companies (Discos) to have a proper feedback before presenting to the higher forums,” the letter demands.

Talking to Dawn, a senior Lesco official said that besides Lesco, other Discos also rejected the PITC’s data related to the overbilling, line losses etc.

“We have studied and investigated the PITC data in detail and it has proved to be a false and baseless. We have all the proof to prove this data totally wrong, the ministry shouldn’t depend on the PITC in this regard,” the official explained.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2018