Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, after a high-level meeting in Karachi on Monday, directed the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to supply as much gas as required by K-Electric (KE) to provide electricity to the city.
The special meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) was called to resolve the dispute between the SSGC and KE which has led to the city suffering from load-shedding.
"The city will have electricity as well as water, as water is supplied using electricity,” Abbasi said, adding that Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail has been tasked with determining within 15 days what dues are owed by which company.
"The load-shedding in Karachi will end completely when 100 per cent of the bills are being paid,” the prime minister said in response to a question.
He said that the KE had given a written statement saying that all its furnace oil plants were working to full capacity, suggesting that the additional load-shedding being currently faced by the city is due entirely to reduced gas supply.
Abbasi said that the electricity production in the country was in excess of demand but it cannot afford to bear the burden of those who do not pay their bills and, therefore, load-shedding would continue in areas with high incidence of electricity theft.
He said that the centre has done a lot more for the city than was due. "If Sindh asks for buses for the Green Line project, we are ready to provide them as well,” the prime minister said.
He also dismissed any possibility of KE being privatised and assured that the company was operating according to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) tariffs and cannot charge any more or less than the decided dues dismissing claims of over-billing by the company.
The dispute began when the SSGC reduced supply of electricity to KE saying it had not paid its dues.
KE reported it has Rs52 billion claims against the KSWB and the SSGC said it has claims of about Rs80bn against KE, excluding Rs7bn security deposit required for increasing gas supply from contractual 10mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) to 190mmcfd.
Separately, the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) has Rs30bn claims against KE.
The centre and the Sindh government had also laid blame on each other as the dispute lingered on at the cost of Karachi’s citizens suffering.
Meanwhile, a Nepra committee had found KE at fault for additional electricity shortage while also requesting the government to increase gas quota for the power utility to ease public sufferings.