Karachi - Sindh Assembly on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution demanding NEPRA not to increase electricity tariff for the consumers of Karachi as requested by K-Electric (KE).

The Assembly blasted the KE administration over overbilling and not fulfilling its promises of ending loadshedding.

It was a private members day in the provincial assembly on Tuesday, and the session commenced over half an hour late with Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair.

Tabling a private resolution, Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hassan said that the provincial government should ask the federal government to direct NEPRA not to increase the power tariff or taxes for the consumers of Karachi.

Speaking further, he recalled that the Assembly had passed three resolutions against the ‘injustices’ of KE, and a decision had also been taken to form a committee to raise the issue with NEPRA. “But none of these things have materialised as yet,” he lamented.

“The issue of overbilling is faced by majority of people in the city from Defence to Orangi, and the KE authorities refuse to cut the bill down even if it is inflated,” Izhar said, adding that the citizens had been left at the mercy of KE.

He expressed surprise that despite marked increase in KE’s revenue generation, its performance had not witnessed any improvement.

“It is the responsibility of the Sindh government to take notice of the reported handover of KE to a Chinese company, and it should question the federal government as to why it was not taken into confidence over such a big decision,” Izhar said, and added that he was not against the sale of KE, but first it should improve power supply to the consumers.

Provincial Minister Mumtaz Hussain Jakhrani pointed out that loadshedding and overbilling were not only Karachi specific; instead these issues haunted people from Karachi to Kashmore.

He recalled that the Punjab chief minister had said he would change his name if failed to end loadshedding in six months. “Now the provincial assembly should pass a resolution to change name of Shahbaz Sharif,” he said jokingly.

In a hidden reference to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Jakhrani said that PPP wanted to convey the message to the friends of Indian Prime Minister Narendara Modi that it would not remain silent on ‘injustices’ with the province.

Provincial Minister for Social Welfare Shamim Mumtaz said that the PPP had opposed the sale of KE, when it had been sold out for the first time. “Still, we will raise our voice over the issue inside and outside the assembly,” he vowed. Syed Sardar Ahmed said that amid increasing complaints against the KE, the provincial government should legislate in order to take control of the power utility.

Faisal Sabzwari suggested summoning of the officials of KE in the provincial assembly so that they could defend themselves against the allegations leveled against them.

PPP Lawmaker Khairun Nisa Mughal said that Karachi generated 70 percent of the revenue, but the federal government was continuously ignoring it.

She asked as to why Sindh was not given representation in NEPRA.

She also expressed surprise that how on earth KE consumers had not increased, but its revenues were increasing day by day.

PTI lawmaker Khurram Sher Zaman said that poor people were sent Rs20,000 inflated bills, and now the electricity meters imported from China, having the reputation of charging in excess, were going to be installed.

Other lawmakers from MQM and PPP also spoke during the session and blasted the KE administration for not fulfilling the promises.

Debate on the resolution lasted for over two hours, prompting Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza to adjourn the session for Wednesday. This infuriated the PTI lawmaker Khurram Sher Zaman, who criticised the PPP and MQM for joining hands against his resolution, in which he had demanded renaming of Altaf Hussain University after Abdus Sattar Edhi.

Earlier, the speaker said that it was his desire that every item on the agenda be discussed in the assembly, but unfortunately due to lack of time and lengthy agenda this could not be possible.

He also asked the opposition and government members to sit together and resolve this issue.

The speaker also rejected the adjournment motion from PTI MPA Khurram Sher Zaman regarding share of Karachiites in Sindh government jobs.