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Power sector debt snowballs to Rs408 bn

Power sector receivables increased by Rs22.783 billion in July as distribution companies continued to do a poor job of collecting outstanding dues from consumers, according to the latest official figures.

The amount billed by the distribution companies for July 2012, shows the official data, stood at Rs80.073 billion while collection clocked in at Rs55.315 billion, creating a deficit of Rs25.415 billion.

As per this data, total power sector receivables increased to a staggering Rs408.402 billion, up by almost six percent from the Rs385.619 billion calculated till June 2012. The breakdown of total receivables shows that the private sector owes a total of Rs211.078 billion while government departments owe another Rs197.122 billion.

Meanwhile, the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) tops the list of the largest defaulters with an outstanding amount of Rs59.302 billion. (Against the billed amount of Rs4.63 billion in July 2012, KESC failed to pay anything at all.) The Sindh government comes in second with liabilities worth Rs54.970 billion and against its July 2012 bill of Rs2.348 billion, coughed up just Rs0.074 billion.

Other defaulters include Fata with payables of Rs25.219 billion till July 2012; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government with payables worth Rs19.868 billion; Azad Jammu and Kashmir government with payables of Rs16.731 billion; Punjab Rs6.94 billion; the federal government Rs6.203 billion and Balochistan Rs3.698 billion.

The failure of almost all distribution companies in collecting the billed amount and the inability of various consumer categories, including the public sector, in making timely payments of electricity bills has been termed the cause of the power sector breakdown. This has resulted in the snowballing of inter-corporate circular debt.

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