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Business

December 7, 2017

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Minister seeks provincial help to curb power theft

Minister seeks provincial help to curb power theft

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of power on Wednesday sought helps of the provincial governments to improve recovery of electricity bills and curb power theft.
“Power theft is posing serious threat to the revenue collection and disturbing the liquidity of the sector must for its smooth running,” Minister for Power Division Awais Leghari said in letters to four chief ministers of the provinces.
“Any revenue loss due to the power theft is bound to burden the compliant and paying consumers with higher electricity prices, which in turn hamper the quality of life of the domestic consumers besides burdening the national exchequer.”
Leghari sought support from the provincial governments to introduce amendments into the legislative framework. He also proposed establishment of joint task force representing provincial and federal governments to increase bill recoveries and decrease power theft to bring “more and more areas under the zero load shedding.”
“The support by the provincial governments in the improved revenue collection and provision of security and policing will go a long way in improving the standards of living of the people of Pakistan,” he added.
“Together our endeavours are bound to bear fruits.” Power minister said the government has been able to bring Pakistan out of energy crisis as sufficient electricity has been added into the grid.
Government managed to reduce average transmission and distribution losses by 0.6 percentage points to 17.9 percent during the last four years. Since power generation capacity improved to 18,660 megawatts from 11,800MW in June 2013, the government cut load shedding to 3 to 4 hours from 11 to 12 hours in 2013.
Meanwhile, the minister said Multan Electric Power Company has started automatic meter reading from the current month to stop over and wrong billing. “We are also working on a comprehensive plan to minimise the new connection installation time from which the agriculture sector will also take benefit,” he said, talking to a group of farmers.
“Government is aware of the importance of the agriculture and is taking all steps to facilitate the farmers for better agriculture yields.” The delegation expressed their gratitude for the fixed rate of electricity for agriculture in the country.
They also thanked the minister for power division for his initiative against wrong and overbilling. The power division further directed all the distribution companies to provide maximum relief to the consumers.
“Any violation of the (load shedding) schedule set on the basis of losses and recovery will not be tolerated,” the division said in a statement. The ministry also suspended a number of officials from various distribution companies on account of violation of load management schedule.

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