LAHORE & ISLAMABAD: On Wednesday, officers and staff from the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC), Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), and other organizations connected to the energy industry protested the government’s decision to stop providing them with free electricity.
They organized a demonstration outside the LESCO corporate offices when the electricity company’s engineers closed Queens Road.
The demonstrators, which included members of the LESCO Engineers Association, insisted that they were paid an allowance for power rather than receiving free units as claimed.
They claimed that the interim administration “resorted to such actions” to draw attention away from the “real issues” facing the populace.
They issued a warning that if the government implemented its decision, personnel in the electricity sector would quit working.
A day earlier, Fiaz Ahmed, general secretary of the LESCO Engineers Association, asserted that their unrestricted access to electricity had no impact on regular users’ electricity rates.
In a statement, he expressed remorse over the social media hoopla surrounding free electricity units in the power industry.
An important conference was held on Monday to discuss the critical topic in light of the escalating protests and rising unrest among the populace.
Following the meeting, temporary minister of information Murtaza Solangi announced that the energy ministry had finished a list of suggestions for helping the populace, which will be forwarded to the federal cabinet for approval.
These recommendations included eliminating the provision of free electricity units to Wapda and other entities having ties to power for its personnel.
It also addressed how to give consumers payment assistance through installments.
In related news, the Supreme Court has heard arguments on the subject of free housing for government employees and high electricity prices for the general public.
Saeeda Begum, a civilian, has petitioned the SC, asking the court to immediately halt the distribution of free electrical units to officers of all government ministries.
The petitioner urged the Supreme Court to revoke the provision of free energy and fuel to all institutions, including the judicial system and lawmakers.
She also argued for the elimination of the exorbitant levies included in electricity bills.
According to the petitioner, independent power producers (IPPs) should no longer be exempt from paying taxes.