PITC develops software to charge arrears from export sector

--APTMA moves LHC against power tariff arrears issued to textile millers

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LAHORE: The Power Information Technology Company (PITC) has developed a designated software to charge the export-oriented sector with financial cost (FC) surcharge, fixed charge (F/C), Neelum Jhelum (NJ) surcharge, fuel charge adjustments (FCA) and Quarterly Tariff Adjustment (QTA), from January 1 to December 31, 2019, with retrospective effect.

The software, to be used by power distribution companies (DISCOs), would charge the export sector with arrears of one year in 12 equal instalments. The arrears will be charged with F/C of Rs0.60/KWh, NJ surcharge of Rs0.10/kWh, FC of Rs0.43/kWh, while QTA will be charged with Rs1.80 in the first and second quarters and Rs0.63 in the third and fourth quarters.

Earlier, the PITC, which falls under the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), was tasked to develop this software to charge the export-oriented sector with retrospective effect.

“The Power Division had decided to add these surcharges to the concessionary rate of 7.5 cents/kWh for the export-oriented sector,” a senior official, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed. “That’s why we were asked to develop this software at the earliest.”

APTMA MOVES LHC

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on Monday moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) with a civil miscellaneous (CM) application for the redressal of notices being served to the textile millers to pay QTA and other arrears with retrospective effect.

DISCOs had warned of power disconnections from January 25.

Sources said the APTMA members held a detailed meeting with their counsel Salman Akram Raja on Sunday and had decided to take up the matter with the LHC.

The LHC, upon APTMA’s request, would take up this issue on the already scheduled hearing against a writ regarding QTA on January 30.

Referring to clause 6.2 of NEPRA, a senior APTMA member said, “The due date for payment of bills will be within 15 days from their date of issue. However, the consumer will have seven days to clear from the date of actual delivery of the bill for the purpose of payment.”

Those arrear notices were a clear-cut violation of the NEPRA laws, he maintained.

A worried textile miller from Lahore, who wished not to be named, said the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) wasn’t ready to accept the LHC stay orders regarding QTA and other surcharges to the export sector.

“We are left with no choice but to move to the court again regarding the arrears sent to us with retrospective effect on January 24,” he said.

“How will we achieve the target of $50 billion exports in the next 10 years if we are not getting energy at competitive rates like our regional competitors – Bangladesh, India, China and Vietnam,” the miller questioned.

He said that if they (millers) got the energy at 11.5 cents to 12 cents/kWh, they would be unable to book any new export orders.

“No textile miller is ready to face heavy losses due to high cost of energy,” he added.

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