KARACHI - The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) landscape has evolved in Pakistan over the years and more companies are practicing CSR.

“If we analyse the local power sector, K-Electric stands out as a prime example, which has embedded sustainable thinking with the organisational culture and supports the community in different areas.”

Recognizing the power utility’s economic, environmental and social performance, it recently received the Best Sustainability Report Award during the 6th Corporate Social Responsibility Awards held recently in Karachi.

Speaking on the sidelines of the awards distribution ceremony, ESG & Sustainability (K-Electric) Deputy Director Zehra Mehdi said, “In accordance with our belief that a business can prosper only when the society within which it operates remains healthy, KE covers a wide range of CSR initiatives in order to help build a better society for all. KE contributes towards improvement of communities in areas such as poverty reduction, health, education, skill development, environmental protection, youth development and energy conservation through its Social Investment Programme (SIP).”

KE’s SIP, launched in 2012 currently reaches around 3.9 million lives annually through 15 partners including SIUT, TCF, Indus Hospital, LRBT, The Kidney Center and SOS Children’s Village besides others. Initiatives under SIP include facilitating education for the underprivileged; providing free or subsidized electricity to Karachi’s key educational and health institutions; educating thousands of school children through its fire safety and energy conservation programmes while engaging youth through cricket and football, KE-Lyari League being the prime example.

While talking about KE’s flagship community development project, Ujala, she informed that the project was launched last year which was focused on the uplift and empowerment of communities by further improving access to electricity. “KE’s reputation as a socially responsible power company, well-integrated in the community, has been soundly established and we will continue to build on the foundations of our longstanding commitment to responsible business,” she maintained.

According to Indus Hospital CEO Abdul Bari Khan, the partnership with KE helped provided treatment to over 60,000 patients in 2016.

Zaheeruddin M. Babar, who heads Karwan-E-Hayat, a hospital for the treatment of mental illnesses, said that KE’s support was critical for the hospital which treated around 55,000 patients last year.

KE has also been on the forefront when it comes to supporting the education sector in terms of providing computers, youth engagement initiatives and encouraging research & development projects. Last year K-Electric set up a state-of-the-art electrical engineering lab at NED and also sponsored NED students for Formula SAE event in Italy where they represented Pakistan and also won an award.

JI pace up campaign against KE

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi chief Engineer Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman on Wednesday distributed hand bills among shopkeepers and common people, requesting them to join JI’s protest against the K-Electric.

The JI leaders and workers were on the roads only recently in connection with the party’s sit-in against the government and power utility’s alleged nexus.

Now the party plans the sit-in tomorrow (April 7) outside the KE’s headquarters in Defence.

Speaking on the occasion, Naeem informed people that the power distribution company had illegally charged Rs11 billion from them in the name of meter rent Rs13 billion as double bank charges, Rs62 billion in the name of fuel adjustment charges and Rs13 billion in the name of employees who had already been sacked.

He told people the party’s demands from the authorities were the withdrawal of recent hike in tariff, and the return of the amount to customers that was charged from them illegally in the name of line losses.

The JI leader also demanded the government to devise a strategy for addressing complaints in connection with the meters that run on 35 percent increased speed.

He told the citizens that KESC had been privatized in the past because the government at that time was paying to the power utility Rs5 billion annually in subsidy, but now the KE had been receiving Rs75 billon annual subsidy from the government.

He argued that the current scenario provided enough ground for nationalization of the company.

He urged the people to join the JI’s movement against the excesses being committed by the KE. A large number of people assured the JI leaders that they would participate in the sit-in.

Our Staff Reporters