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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have criticised the government over reports that power companies have been sending electricity bills to their customers for more than the allowed 31 days in one month.

The PPP has questioned the silence of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government over this blatant violation of rules, whereas the PML-N termed this an act of dacoity by the rulers.

“It is shocking that power companies have issued bills for more than the allowed 31 days in one month and that this has been happening since January 2021,” PPP vice president Sherry Rehman said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Senator Rehman said the people across the country were being forced to pay unreasonably high electricity bills.

Electricity firms accused of sending monthly bills for 37 days instead of the lawful 31

“Why is this flagrant violation of Nepra (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority) rules going unchecked?” she asked.

“While the rules state that all tariffs for the residential customers are applicable only on a maximum billing period of 31 days, the power companies are issuing bills for 35 and 37 days of electricity usage to their customers in a single month in order to raise tariff charges. This blatant disregard of the law is a matter of concern,” the PPP leader said.

“Why Nepra is not enforcing the laws onto the power companies and solving the issue systematically, rather than a case-to-case basis? What about the people who do not know how to lodge a complaint? Are there any plans to return their overbilled amounts?” she asked.

Ms Rehman, who is also the parliamentary leader of the party in the Senate, called for an immediate inquiry into the issue and action to resolve the matter.

The PPP senator regretted that power companies which were overcharging had been allowed to go scot free.

“All this is happening under the government’s watch and its silence is only making the government complicit in the crime,” she said.

PML-N information secretary and MNA Marriyum Aurangzeb in her statement termed the power companies act of sending “37-day” bills to their consumers for the last eight months “an act of robbery in broad daylight” and held Prime Minister Imran Khan directly responsible for it.

She said the PTI was looting the people of the country in every way imaginable and more.

“This latest tactic of stealing money from the people of the country is a brainchild of Imran Khan’s evil mind,” she alleged.

Ms Aurangzeb, who served as the information minister during the previous PML-N government, said that Mr Khan had imposed “the law of the jungle” in the country. The same tactics, she said, had been used to loot the people through gas bills which the minister at that time had confessed as well, but the prime minister saved him from accountability.

“The people of the country are being looted by this government by every means be it sugar, flour, wheat, medicine, petrol, electricity, gas or LNG,” she said.

According to reports in the media, Karachi’s K-Electric, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, Multan Electric Power Company, Gujranwala Electric Power Company and Sukkur Electric Power Company have billed their customers for more than the allowed 31 days in one month on more than one occasion since January 2021 in violation of Nepra’s agreement with power distribution companies.

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