ISLAMABAD - Minister for Power Division Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari Tuesday directed the replacement of defective meters in all the power Distribution Companies (Discos) within 7 days.

The minister also directed Discos to file quarterly tariff adjustment petition with Nepra during the ongoing month, installation of AMR meters in Sepco area, adopt effective strategy to eliminate mismatch in tariff and prepare procurement plan by 15th April. The minister issued these directions during performance review meeting of the Discos.

The minister directed Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to ensure replacement of defective meter within 07 days after it is has been declared defective besides clearing the backlog of defective meters in their respective DISCOs by March 31st 2018. An official source privy to the meeting told The Nation that the number of defective meters will be around 300,000 and the Discos will bear the cost of new meters.

The cost of residential meter is around Rs 6000 while the three phase meter is Rs 15000. Besides, some defective meters are still under warranty and they will be replaced for free, the source added.

The source said that consumers were paying high bills due to defective meter and now they will get relief.

The minister directed Sepco CEO to install AMR meters on all government connections up to 31st March, 2018. The estimate for installing AMR meters on all connections of Government of Sindh by all DISCOs be submitted for taking further action.

The source said that the decision was taken on the request of Government of Sindh and both the provincial government and Disco will bear the cost.

The source also said that in future AMR meters will also be installed in the Iesco region government buildings.

Leghari has issued directions to assess the performance of Discos and its CEO on the basis of their success to bridge the gap in their sold and billed units and adopting strategy to eliminate the mismatch in tariff.

The minister further directed the CEOs of all Discos to file quarterly tariff adjustment petitions within one month (during March) with Nepra and pursue the same for better financial management of the Distribution Companies as corporate entities.

This will also help in reducing the gap in billed and recovered amount by the Discos, he said.

Taking strong exception to the continuous delays and frequent stock depletion of essential material, the minister has directed all the chairmen of the BoDs to make proper procurement plan for the next financial year and get it approved by 15th April 2018.

It was further directed that a list of problematic items of procurement be prepared and Pepco to notify a working group to design central procurement system to avoid quality and delay issues.