Aaj English TV

Sunday, May 19, 2024  
10 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Free electricity to power sector employees costs Rs13b to taxpayers

Say facility will be discontinued for officers above Grade 17
Technicians are silhouetted as they fix cables on a power transmission line in Karachi, Pakistan January 9, 2017 - Reuters
Technicians are silhouetted as they fix cables on a power transmission line in Karachi, Pakistan January 9, 2017 - Reuters

The Power Division employees are provided with electricity worth Rs13 billion annually as they are given hundreds of units of electricity free of cost, sources said.

Employees of Grades 1 to 4 are provided with 100 units of free electricity per month while they are given 50 units post-retirement.

The Grade 5 to 10 employees can use 150 units/month for free while on-job and 75 units/month after their retirement, they added.

Above them are officials with Grades 11 to 15 who are provided with 200 units during their service and 100 units after retirement.

The revelation came amid protests across the country against the electricity price hike. Power consumers chanted slogans against power utilities and government and burned utility bills in protest.

Protests were held in Karachi, Hyderabad, Nawab Shah, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Attock, Rahim Yar Khan, Gujranwala, Pakpattan, Quetta, and Peshawar. People also held demonstrations in Azad Kashmir.

While the citizens were complaining of inflated bills amid recent hikes in the power tariffs, several alleged bills of the Power Division circulated on social media that showed high consumption of electricity with a meagre amount of charges.

The citizens demanded the removal of the facility as they claimed that the common people were bearing the cost of free electricity to the power division employees.

Grade 16 officers are given 300 free units, Grade 17 officers get 450 units and Grade 18 officials are provided with 600 units/month.

High-ranking officers such as Grade 19 and Grade 20 are provided with 880 units and 1,110 units respectively, while Grade 21 and 22 can use 1,300 free units in a month.

Sources said that the free electricity units to officers above Grade 17 will be discontinued and the officials will be paid the equivalent amount of their allotted units in their salaries.

A summary has been finalised which will be forwarded to the cabinet and the facility will be ended once the cabinet approves the discontinuation of the facility.

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