THIS is with reference to the letter ‘Illogical surcharge’ (Aug 27), which rightly highlighted the injustice that the people in Karachi are being subjected to. They are actually forced to pay for the inefficiencies and losses of power distribution companies in other parts of the country as well.
As things stand, consumers in Karachi are paying to settle the interest payments for loans held with the Power Holding Limited (PHL), the company that financially transacts on behalf of power-generating companies and pays the fuel suppliers. In 2020, the then government decided to convert a large chunk of these loans into public debt and recover it from consumers in order to reduce the mounting circular debt.
An amount of Rs800 billion is to be recovered, according to a recent report by the office of the auditor-general. Owing to the unjustified uniform tariff policy, consumers in Karachi are liable to share the burden even though K-Electric (KE) has clarified that its books hold no losses that need to be recovered via the PHL surcharge. For once, KE is not at fault.
Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2023