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Only two-hour power supply to areas with over 80pc losses proposed.

Byline: Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD -- A parliamentary panel headed by a senator from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has proposed only two-hour a day electricity supply to areas with more than 80 per cent losses and its payment out of Zakat Fund or Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

This is part of a series of recommendations to minimise the menace of circular debt put forward by a sub-

committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Power headed by Nauman Wazir. The sub-committee was tasked with specific recommendations to be presented to the incoming PTI government for implementation to end the circular debt.

The panel has also suggested a bargain to religious scholars and prayer leaders to condemn electricity theft in Friday sermons as 'Haram' and get 400 units of electricity (worth about Rs6,000) free.

Senate panel asks religious scholars to condemn electricity theft and get 400 units free

It has also made out a case for any intervention by the government in the affairs of the power distribution companies (Discos) through the government director in the board of directors given majority shareholding of the government.

The sub-committee has recommended that all high loss feeders be outsourced for metering, billing and collection of bills. The year-on-year increase in additional revenue generated per month by the contractor should be shared 50:50 between Disco and the contractor without laying off existing Disco staff. Extra financial benefit should be given to the Disco staff retained by the contractor.

For feeders not outsourced to contractor, in theft recovery cases, 40pc of the recovered amount from consumers should be paid to Disco employees detecting the theft, 20pc to the informer, 10pc to the lawyer contesting in the court of law and 10pc to the attached police station where the theft was detected to be distributed amongst the police officials helping apprehend the culprits.

The sub-committee believed that each consumer in the US and Canada had dedicated small transformer of 5KVA capacity or two-three put together in case of lower demand so that losses could be identified at the lowest level. It said the low tension (LT) circuits be phased out and all new connections be provided through 5KVA or high transformers as per the consumer's requirements and its cost should be borne by the consumer or out of funds provided by members of the national or provincial assemblies or through the BISP.

The panel said that since all Discos were incorporated under the companies ordinance, the labour law for corporate entities would supersede rules and regulations made by Discos, or the government and all hiring, firing and disciplinary proceedings should take place under the labour law.

All Discos would be provided 200 policemen and two magistrates whose salaries and other expenses would be paid by them.

All consumers, including residential consumers having 3-phase electricity connection above 5KW, would be subjected to two-part tariff and a minimum load factor of 0.90. In case of lower power factor, penalty as applied on industrial consumer should be charged to domestic consumers. To achieve this, all new meters being purchased should carry the readings for two-part tariff and load factor.

All sub-divisional officers heading the operations sector would monitor load on the feeders in the grid and balance the load through at the metering point.

The sub-committee has suggested appointment of directors on the boards on merit from amongst human resource experts, industrialists, chartered accountants, advocates of the Supreme Court and IT experts and all of them having no less than 20 years experience, except IT. For this, the power division has been asked to come up with a concrete proposal for board of directors members' appointment criteria along with the key performance indicators for the board and the chief executive in line with the code of corporate governance.

The CEOs and all HR heads should have a minimum posting tenure of two years. In case required earlier because of inefficiency, a special adverse report evaluation would be done duly signed by the individual posted out before the two-year mandatory limit.

The power division has also been asked to present a plan for offloading Discos to the provincial governments, starting with the Peshawar Electric Supply Company as a test case. The plan should also include annual subsidy along with additional loss the companies incur and the subsequent projection of both these heads for the next five years.
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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Aug 13, 2018
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