ISLAMABAD - State Minister for Water and Power Tasnim Qureshi dropped a bombshell in Senate on Friday by revealing that a big and powerful mafia deprived the national exchequer of Rs 90 billion by stealing electricity.
"A powerful mafia was involved in huge electricity theft. This mafia which consists of influential and the mightiest people has caused losses to the national exchequer to the tone of whooping 90 billion rupees during last five years," State Minister Tasnim Qureshi told upper house on Friday.
He was replying to a question asked by Senator Begum Najma Hameed during Senate question hour on Friday. Senator Begum Najma Hameed asked the minister for water and power to inform the Senate about the quantum and value of electricity stolen or wasted during the last five years with year-wise breakup. She also asked the minister to state the reasons for the theft and wastage of electricity.
State minister for water and power told Senate that FESCO, GEPCO, LESCO, MEPCO, IESCO, SEPCO, HESCO, PEPCO, and KESCO lost Rs600 million, Rs360 million, Rs2.35billion, Rs280 million, Rs3.66 billion, Rs7.47 billion, Rs16.17 billion and Rs59billion respectively on account of theft and line losses.
He informed the Senate that electricity thieves were using seven ways to steal electricity. These included poor economic condition of consumer, continuous increase in tariff, levy of fuel price, open conductor, poor law and order situation, theft through Kunda system and theft through meter tempering. He informed the Senate that ministry of water and power punished 40 officials in financial year 2011-12 and 34 in 2012-13 who were found involved in facilitating the electricity thieves. He, however, did not inform the Senate what kind of punishments were given to officers guilty of allegations.
Replying to another question, state minister for water and power told Senate that the power generation capacity of the country from all sources including hydel, thermal (GENCOs & IPPs) and nuclear power plants (as on 20-02-2013) was 8,504 MW. It includes hydel generation 2,837 MW, thermal (GENCOs) 1,584 MW, thermal (IPPs) 3,468 MW, while 615 MW was being produced by nuclear energy.
Upper house was further informed that country was facing a shortfall of 2,947 MW at present as demand of electricity was 11,451 MW while generation of electricity stood at 8,504 at present. Qureshi told Senate that country was producing 6,625 MW from Hydel energy, 3,580 MW from thermal (GENCOs), 7,577 MW from thermal (IPPs) and 615 MW from nuclear energy.
Meanwhile on Friday, Advisor to PM on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain told Senate that number of CNG stations should be decreased in the county, especially in Punjab.