20pc Discos employees involved in power theft: Minister

ISLAMABAD  -  Minister for Power Division Awais Leghari has said that 20 per cent employees of Power Distribution Companies (Discos) are involved in power theft, and vowed not to spare even the high-level employees involved in electricity pilferage.

The Minister said that mostly the people were shifting on off grid adding that solar panels having capacity of 6800 megawatts were imported in the ongoing year.

While addressing a press conference here Thursday, he claimed that the power sector circular debt is roaming around Rs 2.4 to Rs 2.5 trillion, while the recoverable amount from the government departments and private consumers is around Rs 1.9 trillion.

Awais Leghari informed that on the directives of Prime Minister, a comprehensive road-map for the power sector reforms has beenchalked out, which will be unveiled next week. Through power sector reforms, the issue pertaining to electricity theft, circular debt and overbilling will be resolved, he added. On the directives of the Prime Minister, a complete review of the power sector shortcomings has been conducted in the last two to three weeks. More than half of the problems of the economy is due to the inefficiency of the power sector, said the Minister of Energy. If the power sector is fixed, the economy can be fixed, he added. The power sector losses are the biggest challenge, which have gone to Rs 560 billion, he maintained. Officers and employees sitting in Discos are also responsible for the corrosion of the power sector, Awais Leghari said. Around 20 percent of the employees of Discos are involved in power theft, the minister revealed. He said that the country can no longer bear the burden of these thieves and robbers. Operations are ongoing against electricity thieves, and vowed that even higher officials of Discos such as Chief Engineers, XENs and SDOs, involved in patronage of power pilferage will not be spared. To cover the electricity theft, overbilling of millions of rupees is being done by the employees of the Discos, the Minister said. The Chief Executive Officers of the Discos have been strictly directed to remove Kunda prior April 23 and warned failing do so will entail strict action against the responsible employees.

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