Nepra delaying action against KESC: PC

Posted on June 16, 2011. Filed under: NEPRA, Wapda / KESC |

JUNE 16, 2011

WASIM IQBAL

The Privatisation Commission (PC) has accused the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) of delay in taking any action against the management of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) for its poor operational performance causing long power break downs in Karachi.

An official of PC said that after lapse of three years, PC has a very limited role in operational affairs of the power utility. After privatisation, it is governed by the KESC Board and its private management and PC is no more responsible for poor performance of the utility.

He said, “An independent regulator NEPRA is primarily responsible for the operational issues of KESC which are presently soaring eg regulations, tariff and revenue determinations, and penalties on non-performance”.

The KESC is facing serious operational issues but the regulator’s parent ministry is also not playing a dominant role which can lead to a successful turnaround of the company with the efforts of existing owner and management.

The company is a commercial organisation and presently working under serious financial stress. Its profitability, existing cash flows will determine how to address employment issues under the international practices.

In the annual budget 2011-12, the government has allocated a subsidy of Rs 24.5 billion. This subsidy is payable on tariff differential. The spokesperson of KESC said the company was not facing operational issues but unionists were damaging and sabotaging the smooth supply of KESC.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also chaired a meeting to look into the affairs of the KESC on Friday. The meeting decided to form a committee, comprising representatives of key stakeholders, to discuss the utility’s labour-related issues and find solution to the problems in minimum possible time.

During the meeting, the KESC management was also directed to make all out efforts to improve the power supply. Besides federal ministers, the meeting was also attended by the chairman of Nepra, the secretary of water and power and the Sindh chief secretary.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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