ISLAMABAD - The government Tuesday launched a mobile application ‘Roshan Pakistan’ that will enable electricity consumers to know real time information of their power consumption, supply, billing information and even calculate their monthly prospective electricity bills online.

In the new app system, there will be no human interference and will make the consumer able to know the information which was earlier accessible only to the government officials concerned, Federal Minister for Power Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari said this while launching this mobile application for energy consumers Secretary Power Yousaf Naseem Khokhar was also present at this occasion.

Roshan Pakistan is an Android based mobile application, developed with the help of Power Information Technology Company (PITC), which is a step forward towards making electricity consumers able to readily access billing details, loadshedding information, estimated bill calculation and net metering information. This app is available on Google Play Store in both Urdu and English versions with a feature of remembering consumer reference number, once it is entered then, consumer do not need to enter it again while navigating through different available options and features of the app.

The minister said that the system will ensure transparency and empower the power consumers by giving their access to energy sector’s information. “The introduction of new system will exert pressure on us to bring more betterment and efficiency, as 25 million meter owners could see it daily and any point in time,” the minister said.

“We retrieve the 100 percent correct information of the offices and computers of 10 distribution companies (Discos), which were earlier even not accessible even to MNAs, federal and state ministers and other such official and public representatives,” Laghari said. “Now we are picking these information from the dashboards of the prime minister and minister of power and taking them to the common people through this public service,”.

“The purpose of making this information public is to make us accountable before the consumers public and having check on us by them,” the power minister said. From now, each power feeder of the Discos will be openly on the radar of the public, he added. Through this mobile application, consumers can get the status of their relevant feeder that how much hours it was off, what is status of the theft on the feeder, what is the billing status. In nutshell I will say that we have brought these information to the palm of a consumer,” he claimed.

An official of the Power Information Technology Company (PITC), while elaborating the feature of the mobile application and presenting a demo, said that it has four features including loadshedding schedule, billing information, net metering and bill calculator. Through this app, you can calculate the amount of bill in advance. It will provide information for past 24 hours and next 24 hours information. It also provides billing information of the past 12 months and can also get duplicate bill. It will also provide information regarding net metering capacity on a specific feeder, that how much of power they can add to the feeder. Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar, wind and other energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid.

“Now, everything will be available with full transparency before the public, as they could hold the government and the DISCOs accountable through this information.”

Replying a query regarding overbilling, Laghari said that in last three months after convincing the all political parties have passed a bill (Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power Amendment Bill 2017 (NEPRA Act 2017) from the National Assembly that gives more powers to the regulator including imposition of three-year imprisonment to DISCO’s responsible for sending wrong billing to the clients. But unfortunately, it is awaiting the approval of the Senate however we hope that in next session it would be approved, he said. The minister further said that currently, a huge positive change has been brought in the system if we compare with last year’s overbilling position. There are many consumers across the country who have received zero amount in their bills, because they were already been charged with overbilling.

Secretary Power Yousaf Naseem Khokhar said that by June 2018, we will be getting 969MW from Neelum Jhelum and 1410 MWs from Tarbela-IV. After this addition, in last five years till June 2018, we will be able to add around 11,000MWs to the system.

When he was asked that the government’s receivables stand at around Rs800 billion and what you are doing for the recovery, he said, “We have directed the CEOs of the DISCOs for the recovery and we are also making their assessments on this basis and in January 2018, you will see major changes.” He further said, “The recoveries are not only from public sector but also from private sector. We are focusing on it. Some cases are in litigation. Recovery is one of the major key performance indicators.”