SNGPL violates rules, appoints third party for collecting dues | Pakistan Today

SNGPL violates rules, appoints third party for collecting dues

LAHORE – The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has violated rules by hiring a third-party for collecting unpaid dues while the private company has no authority of collecting money from customers and threatening people by using various tactics, sources told Pakistan Today on Saturday.
According to sources, one year ago, the SNGPL hired a private company, KAP Associates, for collecting unpaid dues. The company has no authority of collecting money from SNGPL customers and owing to its weakness, the company decided to use various tactics for fulfilling the task. “The SNGPL cannot threaten its customers therefore it hired a private party, which is working on behalf of the SNGPL,” said a senior SNGPL official, seeking anonymity.
He said that customers were not aware of the situation. “KAP Associates hired retired army personal for dealing with gas defaulters and collects dues by threatening them,” said a KAP Associates official adding that the retired senior army personal used to call defaulters and gave them threats of dire consequences if the money was not deposited.
He said that defaulters get frightened by three or four calls and deposit the money. KAP Associates had collected around Rs 134 million by threatening customers and in some cases, the company did not deposit any money in account of the SNGPL and kept the money itself. The SNGPL, after looking at the company’s attitude, stopped payments to KAP Associates and owed Rs 6 to 7 million to KAP Associates.
“The SNGPL is asking KAP to deposit all money, which it has received from customers,” a SNGPL official said. But consumers were sandwiched between the SNGPL and KAP Associates, sources said adding that KAP Associates was adopting the same attitude in collection of dues.
A SNGPL official said that the company, after failing to collect defaulted amounts, had asked KAP Associates to collect the unpaid dues in eight cities including Peshawar, Abbottabad, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Lahore and Multan. He said that the company was asked to collect unpaid dues of more than 18 months and if any consumer failed to pay the amount, then the company was asked to grab the defaulter.
“It also shows failure of the SNGPL to collect utility bills,” said the SNGPL official adding that the company had not arrested even a single defaulter but also installed connections on addresses, which were in the defaulter’s list.
Talking to Pakistan Today, KAP Associates Chief Executive Khalid Iqbal admitted that the company had no legal powers to collect unpaid dues from defaulters. “We have various staff members with ‘strong’ background and they call defaulters,” Iqbal said adding that achievement of the company was recovering Rs 134 million from defaulters.
“Although it is against rules and we cannot collect money from defaulters but we are serving the country and recovering defaulted money,” he claimed. SNGPL Deputy Company Secretary Imtiaz Mehmood said that the company had the authority to hire a third party for recovering dues.
“If we don’t do it then how can we recover billions of rupees,” he asked. SNGPL spokesman Babar Saghir said that the company had no right to disclose the list of defaulters to any third party. “The SNGPL is legally and ethically bound not to disclose the defaulter’s list to anyone,” he added.

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