ISLAMABAD - The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has penalised Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) over incessant power theft and imposed Rs10 billion heavy penalty on the power company. As a result of this decision, power consumers of Hesco would find a sigh of relief.

Power sector regulatory authority (Nepra) in its decision, a copy of which is also available with The Nation, has imposed Rs10 billion penalty over continued power theft and losses in jurisdiction of the Hesco. However, the regulator, with this decision of penalizing a power distributing company amid burgeoning energy crisis, has ensured relief to already burdened power consumers and said heavy burden of power theft can not be passed on to the consumers who pay monthly bills regularly. 

“Nepra has repeatedly advised the power utility (Hesco) to take measures to stop non-stop power theft and losses from its jurisdiction. But, the Hesco failed to do so. So, a decision to penalise the power firm has been taken,” a senior official at Nepra said, adding that Hesco’s consumers would find relief in the form of reduced power tariff as per their category with the decision.

According to Nepra’s decision of cutting the power price of Hesco for all categories of its consumers, the regulator has approved Rs3.94/unit cut in the tariff for domestic power consumers category using 1-100 units/month, while Rs4.74/unit cut for category using 101-300 units/month, and Rs3/unit cut in the power price for domestic power consumers category using 301-700unit/month or above 700 units/month. Similarly, Rs3/unit cut in power tariff for categories of commercial and industrial consumers while Rs2.50/unit cut in the tariff for consumers category of agri/tubewell has been made.

Likewise, a good news for power consumers of Hesco in Nepra’s decision is that regulatory authority in its decision to penalise and cutting the power price of the Disco has in fact provided Rs6 billion relief to domestic consumers, Rs1 billion to agri consumers, while Rs2 billion relief to industrial consumers and Rs 60 crore relief to commercial category of power utility.

On the other hand, sources at power ministry said that top offcials at water and power ministry are seriously worried with the decision of Nepra, which in result would bore Rs10 billion colossal losses to Hesco.

To the ministry, regulator’s decision would affect the proposed privatisation of Hesco, as it would disappoint the investor firms, they added. It is to be noted here that the performance with respect to reduction in losses of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) - the utility that provides electricity to 13 districts of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions - is said to have worsened mainly due to incompetence, political interference and duplication of responsibilities.