Standing Committee on Power Directs PESCO to Counter Power Theft

The meeting of the Standing Committee on Power was held at the Parliament House under the chairmanship of Senator Fida Muhammad in Islamabad.

Senator Behrmand Khan Tangi raised a question in the Senate session about the number of sub-divisional area-wise electricity meters installed during the last six months and how to control the “Kunda system” by PESCO.

On the issue of power supply to the people through the establishment of power projects in the Makran Division, Senator Behrmand Khan Tangi stated that the “Kunda culture” is common within the limits of Peshawar Electric Supply Company.

He said that the government is losing billions of rupees due to power theft in the PESCO region. Meanwhile, PESCO officials informed the meeting that they installed 81,000 meters in the last six months. Out of these, about 16,000 have been installed in Peshawar, 13,000 in Khyber, 9,700 in Mardan, 6,700 in Hazara (I), 21,000 in Swat, 4,000 in Bannu, 6,000 in Hazara (II), and 3,800 in Swabi. “There are land ownership issues in many places of the region,” said PESCO Officials.

The Committee was briefed in detail about the PSDP plans of the Ministry of Energy for 2021-22. The Standing Committee was informed that Rs. 155.7 billion has been allocated for PSDP, out of which Rs. 97 billion will be provided by foreign funding or donors, Rs. 36 billion by local banks while Rs. 23 billion by the Government of Pakistan.

The meeting was briefed that overall, 94 projects are in the process, out of which work on 80 projects have already been started, and 14 are yet to begin.

The Committee discussed the matter of delay in the 50MW solar project in Gwadar. Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi informed that a German company, IB, is implementing the 50MW project in the area of Makran in Gwadar. However, the NEPRA officials told the Committee that they are not aware of this solar project.

Responding to that, Senator Mizra raised a query that if tariff has already been fixed in July 2020, then why are the NEPRA officials not aware of this. Mirza Afridi added that we are inviting industries for investment, but the authorities and officials are not cooperating. The Committee chairman sought a detailed report on the Gwadar solar project by February 8.