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KARACHI, July 19: The Karachi Electric Supply Corporation will starting earning over Rs3 million on a monthly basis from August as service charges from Pakistan Television in return for collection of TV licence fees from power consumers.

Sources in the KESC told Dawn on Monday that over 600,000 customers who consumed more than 100 megawatts of electricity a month would pay Rs25 as PTV licence fees through their electricity bills.

They said the KESC would pocket 20 per cent of the amount collected as TV licence fees. Announcing what he called "relief measures" for the people of Pakistan on July 12, Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said: "Presently, domestic TV licence holders are required to pay TV licence fees of Rs300 per annum in lump sum.

This system burdens the TV set holders by requiring bullet payment and the discomfort of payment after standing in long queues. In order to lessen this burden and to create ease for payment, it has been decided that this fee will be collected in 12 equal monthly instalments of Rs25 each through electricity bills from those whose monthly consumption of electricity exceeds 100 units.

This scheme will not be applicable for FATA, PATA and AJK." High-ranking PTV officials told Dawn that Pakistan Television would earn Rs2.17 billion by collecting TV licence fees through electricity bills.

They said that currently PTV was experiencing an annual loss of Rs1.3 billion. They added that the annual expenditure of PTV was Rs3.3 billion while its revenue through advertisements totalled Rs2 billion.

KESC officials said that while the step was announced in the federal budget, they had not yet received a notification from the government. They added that they were, nevertheless, making arrangements to implement the decision.

They made it clear that those domestic customers who did not have TV sets would be exempted from the payment of licence fees. "They can fill out a form saying that they don't have TV sets.

The forms will be sent to PTV which will verify whether these consumers have TV sets or not. If PTV says these consumers don't have TV sets, they will not have to pay licence fees," they explained. The KESC officials said PTV would provide a list of commercial consumers who would have to pay TV licence fees.