The Pakistan Army is set to take charge of supervising financially struggling Distribution Companies (Discos) in a bid to tackle electricity theft and minimize losses. The government aims to intensify efforts against power theft and enhance electricity bill recovery.
As per TaazaTaren, a serving brigadier, along with a team comprising officials from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB), will oversee operations at Performance Monitoring Units (PMUs) across all loss-making Discos. The monitoring team will have the authority to identify and take action against corrupt elements within Discos, individuals involved in electricity theft, and those contributing to significant financial losses.
While the plan is pending higher authorities’ approval, the Power Division intends to initiate its implementation as a pilot project in Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), confirmed the Secretary Power to TaazaTaren.
The move aims to expose and eradicate dishonest practices within Discos that contribute to substantial financial losses for the national exchequer.
Data for the fiscal year 2020-21, available with TaazaTaren, reveals the recovery of electricity bills in various Discos, with HESCO at 73.7%, SPECO at 64.6%, QESCO at 34.66%, and TESCO at 25.29%.
The caretaker energy minister, on September 6, unveiled a crackdown plan against electricity thieves, citing an annual loss of Rs589 billion due to theft and non-payment of bills. As of September 6, the Discos in Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, and Islamabad reported losses of Rs100 billion out of a billing of Rs3,044 billion, while those in Peshawar, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Quetta, Azad Jammu, and Kashmir experienced losses as high as 60%.
In an effort to yield better results, Performance Monitoring Units led by a serving brigadier, supported by FIA and IB staff, are proposed for implementation in loss-making companies like HESCO, SEPCO, QESCO, and TESCO.