PM Secretariat comes to rescue LESCO’s top defaulter

LAHORE : Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) has received pressures from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat to restore connection of its top defaulter that owes Rs 450 million on account of outstanding bills.According to details and documents available with Online, LESCO first time cut off electricity connections last year of three mills in Sheikhupura owned by Momin Qamar. The litigation between LESCO and defaulting companies (one textile and two paper mills) of Mr Qamar eventually landed in the Lahore High Court.The honorable court in the best interest of the state-owned LESCO and defaulter adopted the ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution) technique of mediation and acted as neutral. Successfully achieving the mediation, the LHC passed an order giving a schedule of payments in installments by the defaulter to the LESCO.

Despite the fact that the Order clearly stated that default in the payment of installments would be liable to contempt of court, Mr Qamar failed to make payments according to the schedule given by the honorable Lahore High Court. Consequently, the LESCO had to disconnect the power supply to his three mills. Having cheques paid by Momin Qamar dishonored, the LESCO got as many as four FIR’s registered against him in relevant police station of Sheikhupura (copies available with Online).Least bothering the contempt of court as well as the FIRs registered against him, highly influential Qamar approached former Managing Director PEPCO who used his discretionary powers to reschedule the amount overdue on three mills. Thus, he again secured restoration of his connection but obviously by paying the first couple of installments. Third payment he made through a cheque that again was dishonored to lead to the registration of yet another FIR. Disconnection was logical next development.

According to well-placed sources, Mr Qamar got his outstanding electricity bills worth over Rs 400 million third time rescheduled by the Minister of Water and Power. But as per his routine he failed to follow the Ministry’s schedule of payments as well. Thus disconnection was his eventual fate.Now having connection of his three mills disconnected, the sources said, Qamar has found inroads to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. According to the sources, a senior official of the PM Secretariat has been pressurizing the LESCO authorities to restore electricity connections of Mr Qamar.It is relevant to note here that the recoveries of arrears more than Rs 100 million were not in the purview of the chief executive officer of LESCO as the relevant Committee of the Board of Directors handles such cases under its direct supervision. The sources were of the view that the PM Secretariat might also move to reconstitute the LESCO Board if it does not yield to the pressures for restoring the electricity connections of Mr Momin Qamar. – Onlinenews