KARACHI - Karachi Electric Supply Company has sent an SOS message to the Federal Minister for Finance seeking immediate payment of longstanding government dues so as to meet the City’s high power demand during upcoming Ramzan-ul-Mubarak.

In a letter sent to Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on June 28, CEO of KESC Nayyer Hussain said that in its meager resources it was not possible for the power utility to meet Karachi’s power demand that had soared as high as 2775 megawatts while last year it was 2562 MWs. KESC had already been barely managing the day to day operations. He requested release of at least Rs.10 billion from the stuck up Rs.68 billion receivable from the Government.

Hussain referred to the importance that the present Government had attached to the circular debt issue and congratulated the Federal Minister on resolving circular debt issues of IPPs, oil marketing companies and exploration and production companies. He also recalled the Federal Minister’s own commitment in a recent investors’ conference in Dubai to resolve the issue in order to encourage more foreign investment into the country.

He said that KESC immediately needed payment of the amount as it had been facing severe liquidity crisis, mainly because of the government dues which included Tariff Differential Claims, GST Refund and outstanding electricity bills of strategic consumers including Karachi Water Board.

He said that during the past two months, KESC had rigorously been following up with the government to get some releases in the above heads but with no success. As a result, the utility had been forced to borrow Rs 9 billion from local banks to survive not only on high cost but it had also exhausted KESC’s borrowing limits. Because of the huge government dues, KESC had been facing severe hardship to regularly procure fuel for its power generation plants, the CEO said.

He added that especially during the holy month of Ramzan, the liquidity constraint would disable KESC from procuring furnace oil, while the power utility was very keen to maintain its existing load shedding regime during that month with exemption during Sehr and Iftar hours.