Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) has admitted to overbilling its consumers, causing nuisance and additional burden to the consumers.
During a hearing into a case of suo moto notice taken by the National Electric Power and Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) over the charges of overbilling against power distribution companies, it was revealed that MEPCO overbilled its consumers for up to 52 days, covering May and August. MEPCO, however, claimed that the overbilling was done for 30-37 days in May due to the COVID-19 prevalence and the Eid holidays.
It was also revealed in the probe carried out by the Power Information Technology Company (PITC) into the charges of overbilling by power distribution companies across the country that various power distribution companies billed their respective consumers for more than the allowed 30 days in one month.
CEO MEPCO said the overbilling was done for 30-37 days in May due to the COVID-19 prevalence and the Eid holidays. In addition to MEPCO, a K-Electric official also admitted that the company overbilled its consumers.
NEPRA Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi, who chaired the hearing, said that the government did not ask to stop the provision of necessary services to the public during holidays. He stated, “the overbilling has deprived consumers of the benefit of the slab – how will that benefit be returned to the consumers?”
Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chairman NEPRA Rafique Ahmed Shaikh underlined that action would be taken against the officials concerned and such negligence would not be tolerated. He emphasized taking action against the CEO MEPCO and penalizing him for overbilling. He also ordered the quarters concerned to correct the data.
Terming the overbilling a serious issue, the Vice-Chairman NEPRA remarked that it seemed as if the meter readers of power distribution companies were also creating problems for the consumers. “Those meter readers found guilty of reporting data for excessive days will be dismissed from service,” warned the NEPRA officer.
He maintained that NEPRA would issue a detailed verdict in this regard. “NEPRA will launch an inquiry to assess the total overbilling by each power distribution company,” he said and adjourned the hearing.
According to NEPRA officials, a total of 64 complaints of overbilling, 13 complaints from KE consumers, were received.
Source: Pro Pakistani