LAHORE – With the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) being the top defaulter, the government and the private sector have to pay Rs5 billion to the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) in terms of electricity bills until the end of June, TheNation has learnt.

Of the total default, the payables towards federal government departments are Rs608 million and towards private firms or individuals Rs300 million, while the remaining money lies with the Punjab government.

A Lesco official, who provided details of the defaulters, however, claimed that despite the default, the company made a record recovery of Rs151 billion from its consumers in 2011-2012. He said the recovery was a record in the history of the power distribution companies (Discos) of the country.

According to the details, the Wasa is the top non-payer with outstanding dues of Rs1 billion, followed by different town municipal administrations and Punjab Police with outstanding dues of Rs163 million.

The official said Shalimar Town was a defaulter of Rs679 million, Ravi Town of Rs435 million, Patoki Tehsil Administration of Rs432 million, Data Darbar Town of Rs211 million, Samanabad Town of Rs85 million, Gulberg Town of Rs77 million, Aziz Bhatti Town of Rs68 million, Allama Iqbal Town of Rs63 million, Sheikhupura District of Rs39 million, Sheikhupura Tehsil Administration of Rs34 million and Kasur Tehsil Administration of Rs36 million.

Among the federal government departments, Pakistan Railways is the major defaulter with outstanding dues of Rs125 million. “The main problem is the recovery of outstanding dues from the Punjab Police and the overall government sector,” the Lesco official held.

He further said there was no major defaulter in the private sector. “The recovery from private firms or individuals is not a problem for Lesco since there is no political pressure regarding the recovery of outstanding dues from them.” According to the data, the total default towards the private sector is about Rs300 million until the end of June. The official said some cases regarding the payment of bills were in the court and their payment was stuck because of litigation on fuel adjustment surcharge.