K-Electric admits overbilling
KARACHI: After admitting overbilling consumers, Karachi’s electricity distribution company, K-Electric on Thursday agreed to adjust the amount in next month’s bills.
This was agreed upon by the power company during a National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) hearing on the issue of billing by electricity distribution companies.
In the beginning, the representatives of the power companies made various excuses for the daylight robbery. However, they finally admitted that there had been overbilling.
The Karachi power distribution company also admitted that billing was done for 34 days. KE Chief Financial Officer Muhammad Aamir Ghaziani said that the utility company billed consumers for 34 days, but it did not do so “deliberately”. He also said that the overbilling would be adjusted in the next month.
During the hearing, a consumer from Rahim Yar Khan complained that he was billed for 52 days by Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO). Imtiaz Ahmed, head of Power Information Technology Company, a subsidiary organisation of the power division, also confirmed the overbilling by power distribution companies.
NEPRA Chairman Tauseef Farooqi said overbilling was not just perception anymore and was certain about it now.
“Who will compensate the losses of consumers? NEPRA will hold inquiry into the matter of overbilling,” he said directing the power companies to terminate the meter readers who noted reading of additional days. He also ordered the companies to return the extra money charged through overbilling.
Meanwhile, NEPRA Vice Chairman Bahadur Shah said the authority would see how much additional billing was done from consumers and whether it was done advertently or inadvertently.
It is pertinent here to mention that the NEPRA had taken suo moto notice of overbilling after a report in this regard appeared in local media.
According to an investigative report, during the last eight months, millions of consumers in Multan, Sukkur, Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad, Gujranwala and Faisalabad were several times sent electricity bills on a 37-day basis instead of the stipulated 31 days.
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