The Senate Standing Committee on Power has sought details of Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan meant to install Advance Metering Infra-structure (AMI) meters in Iesco, after Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Shibli Faraz raised eyebrows on the selection of efficient Discos for the project.
At a recent meeting of the Committee, presided over by Senator, Saifullah Abro,
Senator Shibli Faraz stated that AMI meters installed in Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) was the most “flawed formula” by ADB as it was the most efficient Disco in terms of recovery, adding that it must be tested in other Discos like Hesco and Tesco.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has approved AMI metering in Iesco as a pilot project at a total cost of Rs 17 billion.
Additional Secretary Power Division, Musaddiq Ahmed Khan informed the meeting that ECNEC has also directed Power Division to survey all Discos and submit a feasibility report covering all legal, financial and technical aspects in this regard.
The Secretary, Power Division informed that theft can only be controlled with the installation of AMI meters and ABC cables in areas where people do not pay bills and are involved in the theft.
PD willing to start AMI system worth over Rs17bn as pilot project in IESCO
Commenting on a draft Bill moved by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Secretary, Power Division informed that he agreed with the views of the Member that consumers who pay their electricity bill must not be penalized but it was also important to look into the electricity mechanism operating in the country as well. The technical teams have only information related to the feeders and not on downstream of the feeder.
That information can be obtained only where every household is identified and connected to AMI meters. He further stated that the bill was not supported for the reason that the proposed amendment related to the operational aspect of the utility business. The regulation and legislation do not include operational level details. Disconnections and load shedding are separate terms and the intent of the amendment was not clear from the draft and the same might cause difficulties during the implementation phase.
Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi stood firmly against the penalization of innocent citizens who were paying their dues regularly and said that the strictest measures should be taken against the power pilferers. The CEO, Pesco while agreeing with the views of the Member briefed the Committee that in a meeting held on February 2, 2022, at PM Office, it was stated that areas like Bannu, Tangi, Charsadda & Shabqadar were affected by the war on terror and the main hurdle was receivables of Rs. 127 billion from these areas.
The Prime Minister has also directed Chief Minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & Members of the National Assembly to introduce the Bill on writing off these receivables from these areas. Senator Shibli Faraz inquired about the status of ABC cables installed in Pesco. The CEO, Pesco informed the Committee that 70 feeders are approved in PSDP this year, the tender was also issued and initially, 25 feeders will be installed in Peshawar.