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Friday April 12, 2024

Maryam directs operation against electricity theft, smuggling, hoarding

She said electricity theft was already a cognizable offence so arrests and immediate punishment should be ensured

By Our Correspondent
March 31, 2024
Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz is addressing an event related to International Womens Day in Lahore on March 8, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Geo News
Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz is addressing an event related to International Women's Day in Lahore on March 8, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Geo News

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz has directed launching a grand operation against electricity theft, smuggling and hoarding.

“A zero-tolerance policy should be adopted against electricity theft, smuggling and hoarding,” she said while chairing a meeting of the Energy Department here on Saturday. She directed the authorities concerned to conduct a grand operation across the province against electricity theft, smuggling and hoarding to implement a policy devised in a meeting chaired by the prime minister on Friday.

The chief minister directed fixing targets in this regard and presenting a compliance report. “Every connection including industries, factories, shops, houses and shopping malls will be checked. The relevant authorities will be responsible in case of any failure. Whoever is found involved in power theft, smuggling and hoarding should not be given any discount,” she said and directed legislation for severe punishment and heavy fines for the complete elimination of electricity theft.

She said electricity theft was already a cognizable offence so arrests and immediate punishment should be ensured. “Action will also be taken against government officials involved in electricity theft. Black sheep within the system should be identified and tried under relevant laws. The Ministry of Energy will monitor all electricity distribution companies of the province,” she said, directing formation of a taskforce of experts and government representatives to devise an effective strategy to curb this menace.

She said the taskforce would monitor the Ministry of Power, performance of Discos and the operation against power theft.

Earlier, the meeting was told that electricity worth Rs100 billion was being stolen in Punjab every year. Maryam reiterated: “There will be zero tolerance on electricity theft in Punjab. Billions of rupees lost in electricity theft will be spent on health, education and development of people.”