ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Power was informed that 391 million free units worth Rs5.26 billion were provided to the employees of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), distribution companies (Discos) and generation companies (Gencos) in fiscal 2018-19.

Free units of electricity are being provided to 198,222 officers and officials of power sector and generation companies (Gencos), official from power sector said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Power here on Tuesday. 

The Senate body that met with Senator Fida Mohammad discussed the provision of free units to the employees of Wapda, Discos and Gencos, load shedding, and the projects completed from 2010 to 2019.

On the issue supply of free of cost electricity to the power sector and Genos employees, the committee was informed that from July 2018 to June 2019 around 391 million units of free electricity was supplied to the officers and officials of the power sector and Gencos. The total worth of these units was Rs5.26 billion. Out of total 198,221 employees 16,591 were of officer ranks while the remaining are officials of lower grade. The officers consumed 80 million units worth Rs1.382 billion and the officials consumed 311 million units worth Rs3.88 billion. Similarly 136 million excesses units were consumed during fiscal 2018-19 by the employees that were worth Rs1.911 billion.

Interestingly besides serving employees of Wapda, Gencos and Discos, the retired employees and widows are also allowed free units per month at the rate of 50 per cent entitled units.

The committee was informed that staff in power side in grade 1 to 4 are entitled 100 free units per month, grade 5 to 10  are entitled to 150 units, grade 11 to 15, 200 units. Grade 16 is entitled for 300 free units. Officers in grade 18 are entitled to 450 free units, grade 18 and 19, 450 and 600 units respectively, grade 19 and 20, 880 and 1100 units respectively, while grade 21 and 22 each are getting 1,300 free units. Gencos employees from grade 1 to 4 are  getting  300 free units per month, 5 to 16 are getting 600 units, grade 17 are getting 650 units, grade 18 are getting 700 units, grade 19, 1000 units, grade 20, 1100 units and grade 21 to 22 are getting 1300 units.

The committee noted that instead of free units there is need to bring new formula regarding the provision of the facility to the employees of power and generation sector.

The committee directed the power division to review the facility of the provision of free units to the employees of Wapda, Discos and Gencos and present various options to the next meeting of the committee in this regard so the employees could be provided an alternate facility instead of free units.

On the issue of load shedding, the Senate panel noted that by introducing efficient and modern technologies electricity consumption can be reduced. Senator Nauman Wazir said that 100 man electric fans are being used in the country which consumes around 7,000MW electricity. In Pakistan the technology of 1910 is being used in fans which consumes 130 watt of electricity. In other countries they are making fans which consume 25 to 30 Watt electricity. Instead of new power projects if only the fans technology was upgraded it can save 5000 to 6000 MW of electricity, the committee observed.