Recoveries From Electricity Thieves Hit Rs. 1 Billion

The Senate Standing Committee on Power was informed on Thursday that approximately Rs. 1 billion worth of recovery has been made in the last few days.

The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power was held here at Old PIPS Hall Parliament Lodges on Thursday with Senator Saifullah Abro in Chair.

The Senate Committee applauded the Power Division for taking swift action against the line losses and electricity theft in different DISCO’s. Additional Secretary, Power Division, Arshad Majid apprised that approximately Rs. 1 billion worth of recovery has been made in the last few days and the Power Division has also reshuffled the officers of various DISCOs to ensure its efficiency.

Chairman committee Senator Saifullah Abro stated that the Power Division should also reshuffle CEOs of DISCOs and BoDs of various authorities, who allegedly have acted malafide and diminishing the capacity of the power sector.

Earlier in a tweet, Secretary Power Division Rashid Langrial said the interim government’s anti-power theft campaign will cross Rs. 1 billion in recoveries today. However, the figure is negligible compared to transmission and distribution (T&T) losses, which reportedly stood at over Rs. 520 billion in the previous fiscal year (FY23).

“Will cross first billion recovery mark today, although all nuts and bolts of anti-theft campaign are still not fully in place,” the official said in a tweet on Thursday.

“An iterative process: learning by doing in place. Fully-evolved model by end of the month Insha Allah,” he added.

Data shows that between 7 September and 14 September, the caretaker government recovered Rs. 951 million from power thieves, arresting 490 individuals while filing 4,241 First Information Reports (FIRs) against the culprits.

On 7 September, the recovered amount was a meager Rs. 14 million, compared to the cumulative Rs. 951 million collected to date, with the number expected to cross Rs. 1 billion today.

“Crackdown on power theft and chronic default has started giving dividends: cumulative recovery has jumped from PKR 162 million to PKR 796 million; total persons arrested since 7th is 454,” Langrial said in another tweet on Wednesday.

“While PESCO is still lagging behind, QESCO, SEPCO and HESCO are picking up,” he added.

Recently, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said the government will take strict action against electricity thieves. He said at the time that effective measures should be taken to reduce the losses of distribution companies.

He also directed immediate action against the defaulters of electricity dues in collaboration with the provinces and law enforcement agencies and added that no exception should be made in action against electricity defaulters and electricity thieves.

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