Senate panel directs Nepra to rectify issues of power outages, over-billing

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27th Jul, 2021. 08:47 pm
NEPRA Approves Reduction In Price Of Electricity By 19 Paise Per Unit

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat has directed the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to take measures for the rectification of the issues of power outages and over-billing.

The meeting, held under the chairmanship of Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad at the Parliament House, on Tuesday, was briefed about the working and performance of Nepra and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority.

The Nepra officials informed the committee that the authority’s losses have been reduced to 21 per cent from 40 per cent.

The committee members showed resentment at the poor working of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) officials. Senator Khalida Ateeb expressed dismay over the rise in the electricity bills and said this resulted in more miseries to the common man.

The committee members also discussed in detail the problem of power outages and malfunctioning of the transformers.

The committee chairman directed the Nepra officials to prepare a report within a fortnight on the initiatives taken on over-billing and repair of transformers to rectify the problems at the earliest.

He also urged the Nepra chairman to improve the performance of his department.

The public petition pertaining to the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation also came under discussion.

The chairman said the committee will work with its primary role as a parliamentary oversight, to assist the departments in service and delivery to the common man.

Briefing about redressing the complaints and other enforcement activities, the Ogra chairman apprised the committee members that a formal website has been designed to register online complaints.

He also said the complaints can also be registered through phone calls, which are received by the registrar of the relevant province and forwarded to the delegatory officer. The complaint will be resolved within 90 days, he added.

The committee was informed that 2,763 million complainants have been rectified. The Ogra chairman also said the total number of 1,566 complaints have been received through the Pakistan Citizens Portal, of which 1,389 have been resolved and 25 have been forwarded to the relevant departments for action.

The committee was also informed that 1,137 complaints have been received through the Clean and Green Pakistan, of which 1,000 have complaints regarding fuel oil, 137 are CNG-related complaints. So far, a fine of Rs1.8 million has been imposed.

The Standing Committee chairman issued directives to set a criterion to seek feedback from the public.

The committee members and the Ogra officials also discussed in detail the disparity in the oil pricing and the criteria through which the prices have been increased.

Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed asked the Ogra chairman as to what is the wisdom in recommending an increase of Rs10 to Rs15 in the prices of petrol and diesel, which was later reduced by the government; thereby, adding an insult to the injuries of the common people.

The price hike in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) within two weeks is considered a matter of serious concern.

The committee asked the Ogra chairman to furnish a report within a fortnight, showing tangible improvements in the performance of his department.

The committee was informed that the federal government has mandated the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority to notify the prices of kerosene, ethanol (E-10) since June 2006 and inland freight equalisation margins (IFEM) since September 2008.

The committee members lamented that the high octane product has not been given in one price at different petrol stations.

Senator Kamil Ali Agha said that the common man is compromising on the quality, as well as the quantity of the petroleum products.

The officials informed the committee that 70 per cent petroleum and 40 per cent diesel is being imported. New refinery policy is also being introduced to redress such complaints.

The committee chairman directed the Ogra officials to introduce a mechanism for check and balance of disparity in oil pricing, misconduct in the services provided by the petrol stations and on the use of impurities in the petroleum products.

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