Lahore : The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Energy on Tuesday approved ‘The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill 2017’ which would bind NEPRA to open its offices in all districts across
the country to resolve power consumers’ complaints, especially over-billing that had been declared a criminal act.
The committee met here at WAPDA House with Chaudhry Bilal Ahmed Virk in the chair. Federal Minister for Energy (Power Division) Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, and members of the National Assembly including Malik Ihtebar Khan, Rana Afzaal Hussain, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Rana Muhammad Ishaq Khan, Rasheed Ahmad Khan, Rafique Ahmed Jamali, Nawab Ali Wassan, Dr Imran Khattak, Abdul Waseem and Sajid Ahmed attended the meeting.
After implementation of the bill, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) would investigate the complaints of electricity consumers and take action accordingly against the persons involved in over-billing.
The committee members hoped that the initiative would not only resolve the grave issue on permanent basis, but also ensure relief to the consumers of all categories including agriculture, industry, commercial and domestic. It would also strengthen the NEPRA ‘s role as the power regulator.
The committee also took serious notice of the shortage of electricity installation material and other equipment, and called for ending the shortage at the earliest, besides immediate completion of the old feeders’ up-gradation projects.
The officers concerned informed the committee that material demand and supply gap was mainly due to less number of manufacturers, especially of PC poles, conductors and transformers.
The committee members suggested for further enhancing capacity of the manufacturers, besides bringing the new vendors in the circle.
Federal Power Minister Leghari directed Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and all distribution companies (DISCOs) to prepare item-wise proposals to cope effectively with the issue of material shortage.
Considering the proposals, he added, the Power Division would decide whether to import those items or to enhance their manufacturing capacity at local level so as to bridge the demand and supply gap of electric installations material and equipment.
The federal minister also directed the DISCOs chiefs to place all the details and completion schedule of their SDGs (Prime Minister’s Global Sustainable Development Goals Prgrogramme) regarding electrification of villages and other areas, on their respective websites so as to keep the stakeholders, elected representatives and the general public abreast about the progress on the SDGs.
Committee Chairman Chaudhry Bilal directed DISCOs to also ensure display of lists regarding status/progress on demand notices for agricultural tube-wells and transformers, outside the offices of all the respective SDOs (Sub-Divisional Officers) for the convenience and information of the people.
The committee members also stressed the need for fulfilling the shortage of SDOs, line superintendents, line men, meter readers, meter inspectors and other posts.