Pakistan cuts power to government offices

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

    Government offices are among the worst offenders for not paying their electricity bills [AP]
    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.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.