Power bill collection up Rs121b in 9 months

SBP issues fresh currency notes for Eid-ul-Azha

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ISLAMABAD/KARACHI

The collection of bills by power distribution companies has gone up by Rs121 billion during the present Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s tenure from October 2018 to June 2019. According to a performance report shared by the Power Division on Saturday, the transmission and distribution losses (T&D) dropped 1.4%, having a positive financial impact of Rs160 billion during the nine-month period.

During a recovery drive, a target was given to the distribution companies for the recovery of Rs8 billion out of the old receivables. However, the companies recorded an increase of Rs121.1 billion in collections from October 2018 to June 2019.

The power sector has undertaken a number of initiatives for reforms in recent months besides turning itself self-sustaining. The initiatives include both administrative and technical measures pertaining to system augmentation and upgrade. The main emphasis is on making electricity affordable and available to all.

An anti-theft campaign has also been under way across Pakistan since October 13, 2018 with the slogan of zero tolerance for overbilling and corruption. So far, 36,000 FIRs have been registered, 5,318 people arrested and Rs1.37 billion recovered under the drive.

A project titled Advanced Metering Infrastructure is being launched in areas covered by Lahore and Islamabad electric supply companies with $400 million in assistance from the Asian Development Bank. Peshawar and Sukkur electric supply companies have started installing such cables where they clear feeders in their anti-theft campaign and efforts to remove illegal connections.

Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), through 16 field offices of its subsidiary SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP BSC), issued fresh banknotes of various denominations aggregating to Rs.284 billion, including Rs.274 billion via commercial banks and Rs.10 billion via cash counters of SBP BSC, during days leading to Eid-ul-Azha.

Out of the total notes issued to commercial banks, Rs. 12 billion of lower denominations (upto Rs.100), fresh notes have been provided for onward distribution among general public and account holders.

SBP BSC has also provided a sufficient quantity of fresh & good quality ATM notes of higher denominations to commercial banks for smooth ATM operations during the Eid Holidays. In this regard, special teams of SBP and SBP BSC officials shall inspect and monitor the working of ATMs across Pakistan to ensure uninterrupted availability of cash to the general public during the Eid holidays.

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