[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Pakistan cuts power to government offices

Government offices owe millions of dollars in unpaid bills, which contribute to the country's power outage problem.

Last updated: 29 Apr 2014 16:20
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Government offices are among the worst offenders for not paying their electricity bills [AP]

Pakistan's government has cut off power supplies to several official buildings, including parliament, the prime minister's office and the president's residence, due to unpaid bills.

Abid Sher Ali, the minister for water and power, announced on Tuesday an "indiscriminate drive" to recover unpaid bills and warned that all offices and customers who had defaulted would be cut off.

The country has experienced rolling power cuts largely caused by people not paying their bills. Government offices are among the worst offenders.

"I have issued orders that the electricity supply to parliament lodges, parliament house and president's secretariat should be disconnected immediately for non-payment of millions of rupees of bills," Ali said.

Pakistan's capital development authority, Islamabad's civic agency, which is responsible for paying bills for government offices, owes the Islamabad Electricity Supply Company [IESCO] $24m.

The president's secretariat, which is the head of state's office and residence, owes close to $300,000, while parliament lodges had to pay around $200,000 to IESCO, according to Ali.

Pakistan turns to coal for power

Broken promises

Power company officials said that the electricity supply to more than 100 government offices had been disconnected over non-payment of bills.

Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, promised to solve the country's energy crisis in the run-up to the 2013 general election.

But daily power cuts have already begun this year.

People struggle without electricity for between 12 and 18 hours each day in extreme summer temperatures.

On top of electricity cuts, the state-run gas company also disconnected the natural gas supply to the prime minister's offices.

287

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
Ivory Coast tackles internet fraud scourge, but analysts say criminals continue to outsmart authorities.
In US study, MIT scientists changed the emotions linked to specific memories in mice.
The seizure of the Tabqa airbase highlights the Islamic State's consolidation of power in eastern Syria, analysts say.
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
join our mailing list