Defaulters owe DISCOs over Rs2tr

ISLAMABAD: The government appears to be highly concerned about the runaway circular debt that amounts to a staggering Rs2.3 trillion but habitual defaulters have caused no less damage to the power sector as they owe over Rs2 trillion.
These defaulters have widespread influence and are still receiving electricity from power distribution companies (DISCOs), though they have not paid bills since long.
The government has only been able to reduce electricity supplies to such customers so that DISCOs could somewhat curtail their losses. In addition, independent power producers (IPPs) are receiving billions of rupees in capacity payments while the government is shielded from political backlash through an increase in consumer bills.
According to the Power Division, the consumers will be paying Rs1.3 trillion to the IPPs that will not operate during the current financial year. The entire power sector is plagued by mismanagement, electricity theft, bad governance and artificial control of the government. DISCOs have not been allowed to perform on commercial lines.
All such trouble stems from the appointment of chief executive officers (CEOs) of DISCOs and their boards on political grounds.
In recent months, electricity consumers have received inflated bills, at a time when they are reeling from exorbitant prices of essential commodities. –Agencies