NEPRA violates SC orders by changing electricity slab: Pasban

Karachi: Pasban Pakistan has said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has violated the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan by amending electricity slab instead of changing electricity tariff.

A Pasban statement here Wednesday said their Public Issues Director Abubakar Usman during the public hearing of NEPRA submitted 11 written objections, which is a legal intervention. He opposed the leasing of KESC’s Bin Qasim production unit numbers 3 and 4 to Energy Company for converting them to coal. He maintained that due to the privatization agreement and registration with the Karachi Stock Exchange the KESC cannot lease its production units. For this it is necessary that the KESC obtains NoC from the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) so that the interests of shareholders could be safeguarded. Moreover, before converting its production unit to coal the KESC is also bound to get a clearance certificate from the Environment Protection Department of Government of Sindh.

The Pasban leader said if the KESC is not able to run its production units itself it should hand them over to the government. He said by producing electricity from coal dangerous gases would emit, casting negative effects on human, animal and plant life. This is why the whole world it trying to get rid of the obsolete system of coal-based electricity generation. However, the NEPRA and KESC are bent to introduce this dangerous system in our economy.

He reminded that in 1988 a coal plant for Keti Bander imported from Germany was ended due to reason of dangerous coal pollution. He said a huge foreign exchequer would be spent if such a plant is imported again. He said therefore it is better that electricity production should be continued on furnace oil to protect environment.

Talking about the reasons of load shedding, he said if the KESC pays its dues timely to Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) it could get its quota of 176mmcfd gas to avoid load shedding, He said the KESC is collecting its 89percent bills on time and it could easily pay all its dues. He charged the power utility is converting costly copper wires of Karachi with cheap silver cables. He demanded a probe into this through the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and recovering the excess money generated by from copper wires and depositing it in the national kitty.

He said the NEPA by violating the order of Supreme Court put the agenda of dividing slab of consumed units in four stages and reduction of 16 paisa per unit in the public hearing instead of the proposal to amend the tariff. It did not suggest any relief for consumers using more than 700 units.

He said the Supreme Court in is order has termed null and void the tariff of 11 August 2013 and asked to get public approval for a new tariff, but the NEPRA in connivance with private electricity producing companies did not reduce the tariff and just amended the slab. He appealed the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take notice of this contempt of court.