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Is WAPDA out of crisis now?

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Provinces accuse WAPDA of over-billing

From Shamim Ahmed Rizvi, Islamabad
Sep 20 - 27, 1999

During Army's control for the last over 20 months WAPDA has done commendable work. Before Army's induction it was not able to eliminate rampant corruption, power theft and leakage completely but it has now certainly reduced the percentage of losses from over 40% of the total revenue. It has been able to recover billion of rupees arrears, outstanding against public and private sector mainly the influential people with a political clout.

The WAPDA, however, faced greater difficulty in recovering arrears of about Rs 18 billion outstanding mainly against provincial governments, autonomous corporations and attached departments. Directives were issued from the Ministry of Finance to all concerned in January last to reconcile their accounts with WAPDA and clear their arrears within a period of three months. It was made clear that if matter was not resolved within this period all outstanding amounts would be deducted at source — from payment to be made by the federal government to the provinces.

However, almost all the provinces have charged WAPDA of over-charging and excessive billing. The former governor Sindh had stated that the billing of WAPDA to Government of Sindh was highly inflated in the past and the same practice was visible in the first quarter of the current fiscal. He has made a comparison of the billing figures of Sindh with Punjab.