KE Warns Sindh Government of Imminent Power Outages Over Unpaid Dues


ISLAMABAD: Karachi Electric (KE) has issued a stern warning to the federal and Sindh governments regarding potential widespread power outages and disconnections in Karachi if the provincial government fails to settle Rs 9 billion in reconciled bills. These funds are crucial for system improvements, according to well-informed sources.

This urgent message was communicated to top political and public office holders in Islamabad and Karachi just days before the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) issued a notification concerning KE’s request for provisional monthly Fuel Charges Adjustments (FCA) from July 2023 to March 2024. Nepra decided to stagger the recovery of these FCAs in consumer bills from June to September 2024, resulting in additional charges of Rs2.68 per unit in June, Rs3.11 in July, Rs3.22 in August, and about Re1 in September.

The National Assembly recently saw heated debates over the severity of load shedding in Karachi, particularly in Lyari, with conflicting claims from MNA Nabeel Gabol and Minister of State for Finance and Power, Ali Pervaiz Malik. The issue was also discussed in the Sindh Assembly.

Under financial and political pressure, KE has written to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, highlighting the financial strain caused by the unpaid dues. CEO Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi emphasized in the letter that despite numerous requests, the outstanding Rs 9 billion, which includes long-overdue payments, remains unpaid. This financial shortfall is critically impairing KE’s operations amid high fuel prices and interest rates.

The letter also noted that payments from KW&SC, a significant portion of the outstanding dues, have been pending since January 2024. KE has warned that the lack of payment could lead to severe consequences, including power outages, water shortages, healthcare disruptions, food spoilage, supply chain issues, and significant economic losses.

With Eid-ul-Azha and the monsoon season approaching, Alvi cautioned that the risk of breakdowns and disconnections is heightened. KE has requested immediate intervention from the Chief Minister to direct the concerned authorities to settle the outstanding Rs 9 billion. The CEO reiterated KE’s willingness to collaborate with the Government of Sindh to find a solution, but stressed that the company’s sustainability hinges on the settlement of these dues.

Alvi also shared six previous letters sent to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in May 2024, underscoring the urgency of the matter.

Story by Mushtaq Ghumman

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