Black cats now in power sector
Tk 1000cr swindled in name of system loss; fake bills
Tuesday September 25 2012 01:32:19 AM BDT
Dishonest officials and employeesof Power Development Board and similar agencies are swindling around Tk1000crore annually from the power and energy sector under the cover of system lossand using false vouchers against payment of utility bills, sources in theEnergy Ministry said.(The New Nation )
The power sector is a hostage torental and quick renal power plants at the moment, as they are owned bybusiness houses close to the government. They are swindling several thousandscrore taka annually. The entire power sector is suffering from huge financiallosses for paying against unutilized capacity of rental power plants.
But the swindling of power sectordue to system loss and grabbing money using false payment vouchers ofelectricity, gas and fuel oil of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation bills is noless enormous, the sources said.
The swindling is going on almostunabated and the concerned sources in the Energy ministry said the governmentis failing to stop it as several strong syndicates are involved in theswindling and a section of dishonest senior officials are giving them shelter.
The sources said black cats areeverywhere in the gas and power sector. They are swindling around Tk 600 crorefrom power sector, besides around Tk 220 crore from gas and Tk 156 crore fromfuel oil. The overall swindling stands at over Tk 1000 crore annually, thesources said adding the financial losses in all three areas may actually standmuch more than that.
BPC officials told The New Nationon Monday that their real loss from misuse may exceed Tk300 crore. They areadjusting the loss manipulating the weighing system of the oil delivery, theysaid.
The system loss in the PowerDevelopment Board (PDB's) alone stands at around 15 per cent, of which 10 percent occurs at the generation, transmission and distribution level. It is asystemic loss and has nothing to do with swindling by dishonest syndicates.
But the remaining five per centof the system loss results from misuse of electricity and electricity bills bydishonest employees and officials from field level to engineers andaccountants. The government has lost around Tk 600 crore last year, the PDBestimates said.
Illegal connection, cheating inmeter reading and false or under quoted preparation of bills are widely used tocause these swindling, the ministry officials said. Petrobangla and itssubsidiaries are supplying over 2220 mmcf gas daily to the national grid. Ofit, about 30 mmcf (3 crore cubic feet) gas is being stolen daily which cost Tk219 crore to the national exchequer.
Gas misuse at households levelhas been identified at 9 mmcf, misuse at commercial sector stands at 6 mmcfdaily and the rest 15 mmcf is being misused by industrial users which meansdishonest syndicates are taking payment at compromised rates, the energyministry sources said.
Petrobangla officials said, around2,00,000 illegal gas connections are reported to have been given from 2009after the government embargo on new connection.
The syndicates, especially thoseoperating with Titas Gas and PDB, made enormous money banking on the ban to newconnection.
Petrobangla chairman HossainMonsur believes illegal gas connections may tand at around 150,000 during theperiod.
The volume of illegal gasconnections may stands at around 19 mmcf daily, he said commenting on theissue. "Some corrupt officials are the maser mind behind thiscorruption," he said.
Petrobangla already had formed acommittee to investigate into the irregularity, he said adding vested interestquarters, and particularly a section of Titas Gas officials are not cooperatingwith the committee.
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation(BPC) has suffered loss about Tk156 crore for unscientific system indistribution and transportation.
The New Nation