KARACHI: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Monday held a public hearing against K-Electric attended by a large number of businessmen, traders and civil society members.
The public hearing witnessed chaos and ruckus as NEPRA chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi clashed with former president of Karachi Chamber of Commerce Siraj Qasim Teli.
Teli argued that if K-Electric’s monopoly is ended, the business community in Karachi was ready to form a new electricity distribution company. Chairman NEPRA interrupted the business tycoon and said that K-Electric’s licence cannot be changed and no new company should be formed, leading to bitter arguments between them.
Businessman Javed Balwani asked Chairman NEPRA that if the stakeholders are not being held, then what was the purpose of the public hearing. The chairman replied in a stern tone that those who do not speak in an orderly manner should be taken out of the hall.
The public hearing was disrupted and slogans were chanted in against K-Electric forcing NEPRA chairman to adjourn the hearing for some time.
When the hearing resumed, Amir Ghaziani, Chief Financial Officer K-Electric, said the company is allowed to operate until 2023 under an amendment in NEPRA Act He said they want companies other than K-Electric to be involved in power transmission and provide cheap electricity.
K-Electric Chief Executive Moonis Abdullah Alvi said the power distribution company has invested more than its contract and has reduced losses by 16 percent while its system continues to improve.
Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman, while speaking in the hearing, said that the power is cut off with the first drop of rainfall while load shedding is also being done in winter.
He said the people of Karachi are not receiving gas, adding that it is not a matter of demand and supply of electricity but investment. He said K-Electic continues to receive tariffs of their choice and receive billions of rupees in subsidies.
MQM leader Khawaja Izhar said that K-Electric does not have any effective system to remove faults. He said even during the coronavirus pandemic, load shedding was still going on. He said consumer rights are not protected while electricity continues to become more expensive.