Pakistan: Major electricity overbilling scandal unearthed


Most excess billing occurred in LESCO and HESCO regions, Nepra report reveals

In a revelation that has sent shockwaves across the nation, a colossal scandal involving the overbilling of electricity consumers, amounting to billions of rupees, has been unearthed, marking one of the largest of its kind in the country, as reported by Express News.

According to details emerging from the investigation, consumers were subjected to exorbitant charges through overbilling, even in the face of already high electricity rates.

The scandal, which unfolded in August, saw distribution companies (DISCOS) accumulating billions of rupees more from unsuspecting consumers, prompting the intervention of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra).

Nepra swiftly launched an inquiry into the matter, and sources within the regulatory authority have confirmed that the subsequent inquiry report unequivocally substantiates the occurrence of overbilling in the August electricity bills.

Insiders familiar with the investigation revealed that all DISCOS were implicated in the widespread overcharging of the masses. However, a significant portion of the overbilling was concentrated in the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) and Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) regions.

The modus operandi employed in this massive swindle included charging protected customers with non-protected bills and manipulating readings by intentionally delaying them. This intentional delay, often extending three to four days beyond the scheduled date, significantly contributed to the inflated bills that left consumers bewildered and aggrieved.

Furthermore, the investigation uncovered that non-protected users were burdened with additional charges under the pretext of meter conversion. The intentional misclassification of users and the imposition of unwarranted charges drew swift public attention, leading to a surge in consumer complaints.

Prompted by the escalating concerns and consumer grievances, Nepra took decisive action in September, initiating an inquiry committee to thoroughly investigate the widespread over-billing problem. The committee has now concluded its investigation, and Nepra has announced its decision to make the findings