Rs143 billlion losses incurred by four power distribution companies

During FY17 and FY18, they posted a cumulative loss of Rs143 billion, out of which Rs75.6 loss was recorded in FY17 and Rs67.47 billion in FY18

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ISLAMABAD: Four power companies have suffered losses of Rs143 billion according to an audit conducted by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) office due to poor recovery of electricity bills.

The absence of due action against power theft in the last two years also contributed to these losses of the power companies, reports Express Tribune.

The AGP office submitted a report to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on the financial and operational audit of the high-loss making Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO), Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO) and Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) for financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18.

The ECC meeting was informed in line with the directions of the ECC meeting on September 7th, 2018, the director general audit (power) carried out an audit of loss-making four power distribution companies (Discos).

While conducting the audit, the auditors analyzed financial rules, operational procedures and internal control systems of the distribution companies.

Aside from that, the auditors scrutinized if the management conformed to applicable laws, rules and regulations while operating companies.

The aim of preparing this report was to pinpoint weak areas that were contributing to the poor financial, operational performance of these Discos.

During FY17 and FY18, they posted a cumulative loss of Rs143 billion, out of which Rs75.6 loss was recorded in FY17 and Rs67.47 billion in FY18.

Pesco amassed losses of Rs51 billion, Hesco Rs49.7 billion, Sepco Rs19.66 billion and Qesco Rs22.1 billion during the two years under review.

The audit examination revealed a gap between the sale price of electricity and cost price. Likewise, the recovery of electricity bills remained abysmal and massive amounts of debt of Rs179.6 billion and Rs256.4 billion piled up during FY17 and FY18 respectively.

Also, Sepco and Pesco wrote-off Rs39.42 billion worth of bad debts and total receivables of these companies stood at a staggering Rs507.7 billion on June 30th, 2018.

Regarding the loss incurred due to power theft, the ECC was apprised that revenue leakage from illegal connections, other means and absence of interest in following up theft cases caused losses of Rs1,577 million.

Areas falling under the dominion of Qesco suffered losses of Rs262 million because of damage to transformers and other electrical equipment.

Line losses were recorded at Rs46 billion and losses on independent feeders of discos were beyond the allowed limit of Rs351 million.

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