KARACHI    -   Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that power distribution companies collect electricity duty on behalf of the Sindh government from consumers but they are not transferring the amount to the provincial government, therefore he directed Energy Department to evolve a mechanism for direct deposition of the electricity duty in provincial government account.

This he said on Thursday while presiding over a meeting regarding payment of Electricity Bills to Power Distribution Companies (Discos) and collect Electricity Duty from them [Discos) they are collecting on behalf the provincial government.  The meeting was attended by energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh, Advisor to CM Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Finance Najam Shah, Secretary Energy Musadiq Khan and other concerned officers.

The chief minister said that the Discos such as KE, Hesco and Sepco on behalf of the Sindh government were collecting electricity duty from domestic and commercial consumers at the rate of 1.5 percent and 2 percent of the electricity bills respectively but the amount was not returned to the provincial government.

He said that according to a rough estimate around Rs3 billion electricity duty was being collected by the KE annually. The Hesco and Sepco were also collecting but they did not despot this amount in the Sindh government’s account.

The chief minister directed Minister Energy to constitute a committee under Secretary Energy to reconcile the figures of electricity duty with Discos and direct them to deposit the amount in Sindh government account. He also directed the minister energy to meet with Governor State Bank and get a system evolved under which payment of electricity duty, paid through electricity bills, may be deposited directly in the provincial government’s account.

PAYMENT OF POWER BILLS

The chief minister was told that there was an electricity bill of KMC of Rs580 million which the provincial government has to pay. The chief minister directed the Energy Minister to get the bill reconciled first and then pay in installments.

Murad said that all the electricity bills of K-E pertaining to all departments, KWSB, autonomous and semi-autonomous organisations, DMCS, local bodies and all other officers should be rigorously reconciled by Energy Department and thereafter should be paid.

WAHAB GRILLS GOVT

Adviser to chief minister Sindh for information, law and anti-corruption Barrister Murtaza Wahab has advised Prime Minister Imran Khan to admit his inability to run the affairs of country as Pakistani currency touched another all time lowest against dollar as it touched 148 rupees on Thursday.

He said that Rs31 increase in exchange rate of dollar has been recorded in 10 months of PTI government which was highest devolution in the history of country.

In a statement on Thursday, the provincial advisor said that it is second consecutive day that dollar’s value has gone up. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan called urgent meeting after increase of two rupee in dollar rate on Wednesday and ordered stringent measure for controlling exchange rate and a high power committee was also formed in this regard.

He said that it is strange that despite the notice of prime minister, the exchange rate of dollar increased to 6 rupees in interbank market when market opened Thursday. Then, why was overseeing committee formed yesterday by our prime minister? the advisor posed question and added that how long will PTI continue to make people to cry?

He said that PTI has created great confusion in the country which had badly affected the confidence of businesses. Record decrease has been witnessed in stock exchange index. Investors have lost billions.

Wahab criticising the confused policy of federal government pointed out that it was earlier announced after successful talks with IMF that dollar rate will be decided by market forces and government will have no role in this record.    Contrary to this a committee was formed the other day to control the flight of dollar, the advisor added.

Provincial advisor added that nation became well aware of the real face of PTI which has snatched the livelihood of people. He said that in holy month of Ramazan, discounts were announced in the prices of essential commodities. But federal government has increased petroleum prices before the start of Ramazan and now dollar is flying high which will multiply the miseries of people who were already dying of inflation.