LHC seeks audit report of Rs 480 billion paid to IPPs

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Umar Ata Bandial on Friday directed to give reasons why load shedding could not be ended even after payment to the IPPs.
The chief justice directed the water and power joint secretary to appear on April 7.
Judge also directed to the Ministry of Water and Power to submit the audit report of Rs 480 billion payments to independent power producers for production of the electricity. Judge summoned the details of Rs 480 billion paid to IPPs and others.
Chief Justice sought report from the LESCO, FESCO and JEPCO meeting details from grid stations till commercial consumers about over billing.
This application was moved in already pending petition against load shedding filed by Judicial Activism Panel chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique.
Applicant submitted that the electricity was once again being shutdown for 10 to 12 a day and public has to face this problem even this winter season and protest against load shedding across the province continued. He submitted that the public was under heavy burden and psychological pressure due to non-availability of electricity for long hours.
He said that per unit electricity tariff was increasing very rapidly without any justification and due cause and the whole burden is shifted on the public and they are helpless but to pay the electricity bills. He submitted that different letters to NEPRA had been written wherein it has brought into its notice of authorities that DISCOs were charging over billed amount from the consumers in order to fill their record and to save guard their misdeeds.
He said that NEPRA had finalized the annual tariff determination for the year 2013-2014, which includes inclusion of certain irrelevant and other charges, and prima facie, no attempt has been made to verify the purchase data and as such the annual determination was finalized in a hasty manner.
He said that from the record, it is very much clear that government was acting on the directions of IMF for the purposes of increasing the electricity tariff of course these are certain conditions, which the state has to fulfil, but nobody is looking at the other end. To reduce the production and other costs otherwise to increase the electricity tariff but nobody is looking at first end.  He said that due to government failure to construct dams and water reservoir, the public at large is facing serious consequences apart from reduction of line losses and theft of furnace oil. Similarly, the line losses and administrative losses had been reached out reach, which caused adverse effect on public at large.  He said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan on December 10, 2013 had decided the matter regarding unprecedented load shedding which covers the other issues as well, so, right now no matter with reference to unprecedented load-shading. He requested that the apex court verdict should be implemented.
He also requested that the federal government should be directed to place before this court, the priority of Sui Gas being supplied to the domestic and commercial consumer and as well as to the power sector as in these days the domestic consumers are being badly affected due to non-availability of gas and as well as the electricity.  He further requested that directions should be issue for placing the information and documents, so, that the fundamental rights of the citizens of the Pakistan may be protected and preserve.

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