MANSEHRA: The Peshawar High Court’s Abbottabad Circuit Bench on Wednesday directed the federal government, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority and energy minister to respond to a petition against exorbitant power bills.
Next hearing into the case will be fixed afterwards.
Mansehra District Bar Association president Mohammad Rafique Yusuf and leader of local traders Haroonur Rasheed had petitioned the court against “unjustified” taxes, surcharges and line losses in power bills insisting that the people couldn’t afford to pay inflated electricity price.
They made the federal government, Nepra, energy ministry, Wapda and Pesco respondents in the petition.
Petitioners insist those bills have unjustified taxes, line losses
Justice Kamran Hayat Miankhel and Justice Mohammad Ajmal Khan heard the case.
They asked the respondents to explain in writing why exorbitant power bills were being issued to consumers, and adjourned the hearing on a date in office.
Munir Hussain Lughmani and Mohammad Saqib Lughmani, counsel for the petitioners, insisted that the respondents had incorporated unjustified taxes, surcharges and even line losses in power bills, which consumers couldn’t afford to pay.
Mr Lughmani told reporters that the people were taking to the streets across the country to demand immediate withdrawal of inflated electricity bills.
He said the privileged section of society, including top government functionaries and bureaucrats and Wapda employees consumed electricity free of charge burdening inflation-hit people and therefore, such a facility should be done away with immediately.
The lawyer said the government couldn’t justify exorbitant taxes, surcharges and line losses in power bills and therefore, they all should be withdrawn immediately to “reduce” electricity price reasonably to the relief of the people.
Meanwhile, senior vice-president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Sardar Mohammad Yusuf on Wednesday said party workers would accord a warm welcome to their leader and former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, on his homecoming next month.
“We [PML-N] have begun preparations to welcome Mr Nawaz Sharif on his return to the country,” he told reporters here.
Mr Yusuf, a former federal minister, said Nawaz Sharif was the only leader who could steer the country out of current political and economic crises.
“Our [Shehbaz government] took tough economic decisions to prevent the country’s bankruptcy,” he said.
The former lawmaker said after the arrival of Mr Nawaz, his party would hold worker conventions across Hazara division and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as decided by a meeting chaired by provincial president of the party Amir Muqam.
Mr Yusuf said as the last prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif launched mega development projects in the province.
“If people vote us [PML-N] to power, we will not only ensure speedy completion of work on the Mansehra-Muzaffarabad Motorway and other development projects but also inaugurate more uplift schemes to improve people’s life,” he said.
He blamed the current record inflation on the wrong policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.
“Our party has a vision to put the country on the way to socioeconomic development after coming to power,” he said.
Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2023