–DISCOs report Rs 58 bln electricity theft in nine months of current fiscal year
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has failed to control electricity theft in Pakistan which is expected to incur huge losses amounting to Rs80 billion on the national exchequer by the end of the current fiscal year. The rising trend of electricity theft in the country has once again exposed the tall claims of good governance made by the incumbent government.
Well-placed sources informed this scribe that electricity theft in the country would touch Rs80 billion by the end of the ongoing fiscal year 2017-18. It is pertinent to mention here that from July 2017 to March 2018 the total electricity theft in the country amounted to Rs58 billion.
They said more than rupees six billion worth electricity theft had taken place during the nine months of the current fiscal year in Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO), a city considered a stronghold of PML-N.
Meanwhile, almost rupees three billion worth of electricity theft was reported in the constituency of Federal Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari. Similarly, around Rs1.5 billion worth of electricity was stolen in the constituency of State Minister for Power Division Abid Sher Ali. In addition, more than Rs23 billion worth of electricity was stolen from Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), where Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government had been ruling since 2013, the sources informed.
“During the nine months of the current fiscal year, electricity worth Rs58 billion was stolen, a figure expected to touch Rs80 billion by the end of the current fiscal year if one is to consider the current trend of electricity theft in the DISCOs of the country,” the sources said.
They added that billions of rupees worth of electricity theft was taking place despite overbilling and collection of transmission and distribution losses from the power consumers. This had exposed the tall claims of good governance repeatedly made by the PML-N government, they said.
Copies of documents available with Pakistan Today revealed the extent of electricity theft that had taken place in all DISCOs (power distributing companies) of the country from July 2017 to March 2018. According to the documents, PESCO registered the highest electricity theft in the said period.
The documents also revealed that from July 2017 to March 2018, a total 545,873,760 units of electricity worth Rs 6,656,126,404 were stolen in the LESCO region, while 286,628,577 units worth Rs 3,021,463,176 were stolen from Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO), around 127,694,931 units worth Rs 1,524,672,636 were stolen from Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), around 80,991,035 units worth Rs 1,002,497,151 were stolen from Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO), around 16,424,474 units worth Rs 226,566,222 were stolen from Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), around 666,247,802 units worth Rs 9,721,247,179 were stolen from Sukkur Electric Power Company, around 499,744,146 units worth Rs 6,784,078,610 were stolen from Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), around 460,155,212 units worth Rs 6,751,966,210 were stolen from Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), and a total 1,921,894,407 units worth Rs 23,489,450,392 were stolen from PESCO.
It merits mention here that the PML-N government, during their 2013 election campaign, had made a promise with the masses to put an end to electricity load-shedding in the country. However, the PML-N government had so far failed to fulfill their promise.
Moreover, the incumbent government had miserably failed to end the culture of electricity theft in the country. As a result, power consumers had been bearing the burden of overbilling and collection of transmission and distribution losses since a long time.
However, the trend of hours-long load-shedding still continued unabated in Pakistan and power consumers had no other option but to bear the additional brunt of electricity theft to cover losses amounting to billions of rupees.