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KARACHI, June 7: The Sindh government has decided to clear the outstanding power dues of KESC and Hesco by the end of current month. A high-level meeting, chaired by Chief Secretary Fazlur Rehman, was held in this regard here on Tuesday.

The meeting reviewed the position of outstanding electricity bills of the government departments and decided that all the departments must clear their respective electricity dues by June 28 from their budgetary provisions, and on the next day they would have to send a ‘nil report’ in this regard to the chief secretary.

Provincial Secretary Finance was authorized to ‘deduct at source’ the Hesco dues of all Taluka Municipal Administrations of the province. The meeting decided that the power supply to hospitals, courts and water supply installations would not be severed; however, a timely payment of their power dues would be ensured.

Regarding the electricity dues of the KESC, the meeting decided that the KESC would provide a break up of its dues to the Sindh government. It was also decided that an effective strategy would be chalked out to clear the power dues of the provincial government, city government, Karachi Water and Sewerage Broad and all 18 towns of Karachi. It was further decided that the KWSB would recover its dues from the SITE, and at the same time pay its power dues to the KESC. A clearance report in this regard would be sent to the provincial finance department by June 28.

The meeting decided that the KESC would not cut power supply in case of bill default to ensure the successful completion of the K-III water project. It also decided that provincial government would take steps for timely payment of power dues of any of the 18 towns.

According to the decisions, a letter from the chief secretary was sent to all DCOs, asking them to clear the dues of Hesco positively by June 25 from the budgetary provision, and ‘no due certificate’ be sent to the chief secretary.

Senior Member Board of Reve-nue Anwar Haider, Secretary Finance Israr Hussain, Secretary Interior Brig Muht-arram, City Nazim Niamatullah Khan, Hesco chief Abidul Hassan, KESC MD Brig Tariq Saddozai and KWSB MD Iftikhar Haider also attended the meeting.

Separately, a presentation was held for the Sindh chief secretary on Tuesday in the Sindh Secretariat to apprise him of the activities of Decentralization Support Programme (DSP) of Sindh. DSP Director Rizwan Ahmed gave the briefing regarding the activities undertaken by the programme and its further course of action.

The chief secretary showed keen interest in some of the activities being undertaken by the programme, like ‘institutional strengthening of PFC Secretariat, upgrading of Local Fund Audit, and the strengthening of the F&P departments of the district governments.

He said these projects were very important for the success of newly developed local bodies’ system and should be completed in time with due diligence. He also emphasized the need for actively taking up information dissemination regarding the instruments and features of the new system and those being addressed by the DSP Sindh. –PPI