Power ministry officials held ‘responsible’ for overbilling

The power ministry officials have been held responsible for the electricity overbilling as the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) and other authorities have compiled their investigation report into the matter.

According to sources, FIA and other investigation authorities have completed their comprehensive report on electricity overbilling and submitted the report to the Prime Minister’s office.

Sources said that the report has held the power ministry officials responsible for the electricity overbilling and recommended stern action against the involved officials.

 The Prime Minister’s Office is expected to review the report and take appropriate action this week, sources added.

Electricity overbilling

Over 0.3 million power consumers moved out of the protected category and had to pay inflated electricity bills in the month of June due to a new billing system introduced by DISCOs on the orders of the Ministry of Energy.

Consumers in the protected category receive certain protections or benefits, such as subsidised rates or exemptions from price increases.

On July 6, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the FIA to initiate an inquiry against the officials and officers of the power distribution companies who are involved in charging excess units in the electricity bills of the consumers.

He said the ‘anti-public’ officers and officials, who are accessing electricity bills by adding extra units to the electricity bill, should be punished.

The prime minister said elements involved in charging excess units in the bills of protected consumers of below 200 unit per month should be exposed before the nation.

Minister for Interior Mohsin Naqvi ordered FIA to collect data of all distribution companies (DISCOs) providing relief to protected consumers.

Mohsin Naqvi had expressed serious concern over inclusion of protected users in the non-protected category.

He directed all FIA directors to check the data of discos and submit report while giving the task to collect all the evidence in three days.

The minister ordered the directors of FIA across Pakistan to collect the records and a comprehensive report of all the evidence will be submitted to the Prime Minister.

Mohsin Naqvi also ordered to Additional DG FIA North Peshawar, Lahore to go to Gujranwala and Faisalabad to assess the situation and collect data.

FIA Investigation

Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency summoned Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) chief and others for probe into overbilling.

As per details, LESCO Chief Shahid Haider, the director customer services, director IT LESCO, and officials of the energy ministry were summoned for probe into exorbitant billing.

The FIA officials have to submit the probe report into electricity overbilling to the prime minister within 24 hours.