The federal government under the directives of the Prime Minister is going to launch crackdown across the country soon to control electricity theft.
Addressing a news conference flanked by Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi, Minister for Power and Energy Muhammad Ali said there are ten distribution companies in Pakistan which are facing a total loss of 589 billion rupees annually. He said power theft and nonpayment of electricity bills are the major causes of this huge loss.
The Minister said the government has planned a comprehensive three-pronged strategy to deal with the issue of power theft.
He said under this strategy, technology interventions will be made in the areas where electricity theft is 15 to 30 percent. Secondly, involvement of private sector will be ensure in the management where electricity theft is from 30 to 60 percent while enforcement will be ensured in the areas where power theft is more than 60 percent.
Giving details about the steps to be taken to stop power theft, Muhammad Ali said there is dire need of introducing reforms in the energy sector. He said the government is reviewing the performance of the Board of Directors of power distribution companies and will bring change in their management.
He said reshuffling of the officials involved in electricity theft will be made and lists of such officials have already been finalized and dispatched to the Election Commission of Pakistan for implementation.
The Minister said the government is establishing a Task Force at provincial level in consultation with the provinces to monitor performance of distribution companies.
Similarly, the government is also working on legislation side and brining a draft law of Electricity Theft Control Act to check electricity theft.
Replying to a question, the Minister said the government is deliberating on number of steps including privatization and handing over power sector to the provinces to uplift its performance.
To another query, he said work is also underway on the issue of free units to WAPDA officials and the Prime Minister has also issued directives in this connection.
Answering a question, the Minister said lists of distribution companies involved in power theft have been prepared with consultations of the respective Chief Executives.
Speaking on this occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi said not a single Minister in the interim setup is using electricity free of cost.