Electricity bills of FATA people being paid by federal govt : Senate body told

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 16 (APP):The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat on Tuesday was informed that there were 27 million connections of electricity across the country while electricity bills of consumers in Federal Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) are paid by the federal government.
Chaired by Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood at Parliament House Islamabad, the Committee was briefed by Chairman National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Brig. (R) Tariq Saddozai that the Authority comprises of a Chairman and four members, one from each province and appointment of the Chairman is made through a transparent hiring process by the Federal Government, whereas the provincial members are nominated by their representative provinces. He said the function of NEPRA was to issue licenses for generation, transmission, provincial grid companies, distribution, supplier, trader, system operator and market operator.
Tariq Saddozai said NEPRA is exclusively empowered to determine tariff and rates and charges for the provision of electric power services. He said power transmission lines was an important subject but had been ignored in previous government whose main focus was on the power generation.
The Chairman NEPRA said as per contract, 220 KV Mansehra, 220 KV Chakdara, 220 KV D.I Khan and 220 KV Nowshera grid stations were required to be completed by December 2016, however, the said grid stations are still not completed; consequently certain areas of KPK including Mansehra, Hazara, Swat, D.I Khan are facing low voltage and power supply constraints. He informed the Committee that all grid stations and transmission lines are overloaded in the country and it was need of hour to improve these lines and grid stations.
The Chairman of the Committee said issue of power transmission is coming from the years and nobody was interested to resolve such an important issue.
State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that theft of electricity would be uprooted in the country as nobody is above the law. He said Parliamentarians and Ulema should play their important role for awareness among the masses regarding anti theft campaign of electricity. He said elected representatives’ role is important as they are acting as a bridge between the government and people adding that provinces and districts government’s role is also important in anti theft campaign of electricity.
The Committee members said the theft of electricity was not possible without the cooperation of employees; therefore the companies should took action against those elements that are helping in theft of electricity.
The Committee also asked Minister for Power, Umer Ayub Khan and Secretary Water and Power to brief the Committee on the said issues in next meeting.