The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Wednesday came under heavy criticism after reports emerged that power companies were allegedly looting people through overbilling. PML-N’s spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb and PPP’s Sherry Rehman censured the NEPRA and the government for ‘looting’ people. “Sending power bills for 36-37 days every month for the past eight months is equivalent to robbing people in broad daylight,” Marriyum Aurangzeb said. “The people are being robbed in every possible way,” she said. Continuing to slam the government, she said that everything has gone to shambles ‘under Imran sahab’s rule’. She claimed that similar incidents have been reported for gas bills before. PPP leader Sherry Rehman criticised how the power companies are ‘looting people of hundreds of millions of rupees’ by bending the rules. “Both NEPRA and the federal government are complicit in plundering people,” she said, and condemned the government and NEPRA for ‘being silent’ on the matter. “NEPRA has failed to abide by its own rules and regulations. Power companies are robbing the poor of even the subsidies provided to them,” she lamented. Meanwhile, Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar took notice of the issue of overbilling by power distribution companies. He announced on Twitter that he has instructed relevant officials to ‘compile billing data and screen it for any occurrence and frequency of this (overbilling) issue’. He added that the government will take ‘strict action if a deliberate malpractice is detected’. Reports revealed that multiple power distribution companies across the country had more than one instance of overbilling their consumers since January 31, 2021. According to regulations set out by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), consumers cannot be billed for more than 31 days in one calendar month, however, available data showed that in some instances, power distribution companies had billed their consumers for 36 to 37 days. The NEPRA also took notice of electricity consumers being billed for more than 31 days in a single month by distribution companies (DISCOs). NEPRA has asked customers to file complaints regarding overbilling so they can dissect the matter. “Consumers can submit their complaints at NEPRA’s regional or central offices so that the issue can be further looked into,” said NEPRA in a statement issued Wednesday. It said that the affected consumers can also lodge a complaint through e-mail. According to the statement, no complaints have been received so far regarding customers being billed in violation of the NEPRA-approved billing period. It once more urged customers to file their complaints so that a probe can be undertaken and justice provided.