State TV to end exemptions, raise fee -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

State TV to end exemptions, raise fee

By: Abdul Sattar Khan

LAHORE: Pakistan state television is set to bring nearly 900,000 exempted consumers in the revenue net by imposing a licence fee. Some clauses of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Wapda to raise additional income of Rs900 million will also be revisited.

Qadir Falat, Director Finance state TV said that these amendments and the decision of bringing exempted consumers into revenue net is very much under active consideration which will not only increase the income of state TV but the income of Wapda as well.
According to the breakup, total exemptions from July 2004 to June 2005 stood at 327,480 whereas exemptions from July 2005 to June 2006 were 148,823, the exemption from July 2006-June 2007 were at 115,208, from July 2007 to June 2008 at 90,517, from July 2008 to June 2009 at 78,711, from July 2009 to June 2010 the exemptions were 75,525 while from July 2010 to April 2011 the exemptions were 69,998.

The state TV also intends to revisit some clause of the MoU signed between it and Wapda on June 8, 2004 for the collection of TV licence fee through Wapda electricity bills. In addition to the increased Rs900 million in the revenue collection capacity of state TV these proposed amendments would also increase the income of Wapda by Rs54 million per year through collection of these bills at Rs5 per bill.

Details show that the amendment in clause-1 would result in income of Rs294 million while the clause-2 amendment would deliver Rs72 million, clause-5 Rs72 million, clause-8 Rs378 million while the amendment in clause 8-A would deliver Rs84 million.

According to the original MoU (clause-1) the television licence fee was to be charged at Rs25/month in electricity bill to each domestic electricity consumer whose monthly consumption (average of past 11 months calculated in July 2004) exceeds 100 units, however state TV has proposed amendments to replace Rs25 with Rs35 per month.

The clause-2 of the MoU envisages that licence fee will be charged to commercial consumers on the basis of survey carried out by the state TV representatives/information supplied by them in the second phase. Soft copy of the data for commercial consumers shall be provided by Wapda.

However, the proposed amendment says that the clause saying that the soft copy of the data for commercial consumers shall be provided by Wapda is to be deleted. It added that state TV licence inspector will provide/got received the performa of survey report of commercial consumer holding TV set to the respective revenue officer of Wapda for inclusion of TV licence fee on commercial rate on weekly/fortnightly basis. It is expected that this would add 100,000 commercial consumers and will achieve Rs72 million for state TV and Rs6 million for Wapda as collection charges.

The clause-5 says that state TV with an agreement with Pakistan Post will arrange verification of the statement made by the complainant. If the complaint is found false in such case, the instalments in the arrears will be included in the next electricity bill under instruction from state TV which the complainant shall be liable to pay.

However the proposed amendments into this clause say that it is to be added that all the exemptions applications by Wapda are to be sent to state TV revenue officer, headquarters Islamabad, for onward verification through state TV’s licence inspectors. state TV will provide the exemption cases to Wapda.

As per state TV survey, 50% complaints are found incorrect so this measure is expected to increase income by about Rs72 million. According to the clause-8 of the MoU, Wapda shall update the data and start monthly television licence fee recovery in July every year from electricity consumers on the basis of average of past 11 months in respect of consumers who were previously left over from TV licence fee for average electricity consumption up to 100 units.

However, the proposed amendments say that Wapda shall update the data to start monthly licence fee recovery as and when new connection is allowed/start consumption from electricity consumers, whose monthly consumption is above 100 units.

According to state TV summary, it seemed unjustified that a person obtaining exemption has not purchased TV set up to June 2011 because TV has become necessity. Only on this account, state TV will be earning additional annual income amounting to Rs378 million (900,000 at Rs420) and this will also increase the income of Wapda companies amounting to Rs54 million.

A new clause (clause 8-A) has been added in the MoU that says that Wapda company will insert a column for TV licence fee in industrial bills for TV licence fee and will charge for five domestic TV sets Rs175 (at Rs35 per month) to all industrial consumers, however Wapda will be fully authorised to give exemption if any industrial consumer apply/complain that he has not any residences in factory area and no TV licence holders live in the factory premises.

Justifying this decision, it said that PTV has conducted survey for industrial units in various districts having industrial zone and its has been observed that residential colonies having are five or more quarters available for their low paid staff residences having electricity connecting from bulk meter of factory. About 200,000 such industrial units will pay TV licence fee to state TV amounting to Rs84 million and Wapda will get Rs12.6 million as collection charges.By the insertion of above mentioned amendments as much as Rs900 million would be generated.

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