MULTAN: An official document reveals that the Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) charged consumers extra Rs82.32 million with excessive 6.26 million units overbilling in 2018-19.

The company also showed negative energy losses on its 38 feeders.

According to the document, as per the commercial procedure, a revenue officer (of the company) is to implement, in collaboration with executive engineer, the commercial policy laid down from time to time by the competent authority. It states that in Mepco, the percentage of energy losses of 38 feeders was in negative figures in 2018-19.

“The negative losses revealed that the units billed were in excess of units received on feeders, which is an indication of overbilling of Rs82.23 million to the consumers. Auditors were of the view that overbilling showed lack of control in Mepco and reduced the authenticity of their data,” the document revealed.

It stated that non-adherence to commercial procedures resulted in undue generation of revenue of Rs82.23 million through overbilling to consumers and the matter was reported to the ministry of energy in September and October 2019 while the matter was also taken up with the Mepco authorities. Mepco authorities said that the line losses were due to wrong coding of feeders, shifting/bifurcation of load and difference in billing cycle.

“The reply was not acceptable as no proper measures were adopted to avoid overbilling,” the document stated.

It stated that in a meeting held on Jan 2, 2020, the Mepco authorities were asked to carry out the analysis of all the feeders to find out the reasons for negative line losses.

It was further directed that the progressive line losses appearing in relevant documents be reconciled for elucidating the true picture and provide the record in this regard to the audit team within a month.

The document recommended that the company management needed to implement not only to reconcile the figures of overbilling and losses but also fix the responsibility as the overbilling showed lack of control in Mepco and reduced the authenticity of its data.

According to the document, the 28 feeders under spotlight are Mepco’s Multan Operation Circle, eight of Sahiwal Operation Circle and two of Bahawalnagar Operation Circle, while the number of excessive units in Multan Circle were 1.63 million, Sahiwal Circle 167 million and in Bahawalnagar Circle 2.96 million.

The overbilling of Rs20.60 million was done in Multan Circle, Rs23.11 million in Sahiwal Circle and Rs38.52 million in Bahawalnagar Circle.

The Mpeco spokesperson was not available for comment.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2020

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