PM chairs review meeting on stoppage of electricity theft

ISLAMABAD, Mar 28 (Alliance News): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday chaired a high level meeting on stoppage of electricity theft and directed that immediate disciplinary action should be initiated against the officers and exemplary punishment should be given to them for abetting the crime and causing loss of billions of dollars.

He said it was their responsibility to create a stable system by taking measures like launching a campaign to stop electricity theft.
The present situation of the economy could not bear the problem of electricity theft, he added.



He said a strategy should be formulated at the earliest for decreasing line losses and for upgradation of transmission lines.
He said generation companies were a burden on the national exchequer and work should
be started on their privatization at the earliest.

A report on complete plan for solarization of tubewells in Balochistan should be presented, he added.

During the meeting, it was decided to install smart meters on transformers under the public sector development programme. Feeder monitors would be deployed at the feeders which were causing huge losses.

The meeting was briefed that the areas with low rate of electricity theft would have
less loadshedding.

An amendment was brought in section 462(O) of Pakistan Penal Code through an ordinance
to make electricity theft a cognizable offense. Due to the anti-theft campaign in
September last year, the rate of electricity theft had seen a considerable drop.

The prime minister said under the anti-theft campaign, since September 2023, Rs 57 billion
were recovered.

A whole of the government approach was adopted during the campaign to stop theft of
electricity. Under the electricity anti-theft campaign, 45,777 people in Punjab, 1250
in Sindh, 5121 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 181 were arrested in Balochistan.

During the campaign, 350 personnel of distribution companies were suspended for their
bad performance or abetment.

It was told that the task forces set up at district and division levels for stopping theft of
electricity would be given part of the recovery amount for their good performance.

Federal Minister for Power Awais Ahmed Leghari, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs
Ahad Cheema, Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar, Federal
Minister for Industry and Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Minister for Information
and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar, Federal Minister for Petroleum Musadiq Malik and
relevant officers attended the meeting.