Pakistan

Pakistan suffers loss worth Rs600bn a year due to electricity theft: minister

Awais Leghari says the centre has requested Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh to stop power theft

By  News Desk   |  
June 24, 2024
Federal Minister for Energy Awais Leghari working at his office in the picture uploaded on Facebook account on May 22, 2024. —akleghari

ISLAMABAD: Federal Energy Minister Awais Leghari Sunday said the country was suffering a loss worth a whopping Rs600 billion a year due to power theft.

"Pakistan had 6,000 megawatts of extra electricity on Saturday but it was advertently not supplied because it would have inflicted a damage of another Rs2.5 billion to the national exchequer," the energy minister said during an interview on Geo News programme "Jirga".

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He said illegal transformers were set up; therefore, the government could not provide electricity to them as those feeders were not even on meters.

"If we provide electricity to them, then the consumers having meters will bear the burden. The federation has no charity money to give. It is our responsibility to stop electricity theft," he said.

Leghari said the centre had requested Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh to stop power theft. On the other hand, he said Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz started helping the federal government without even its asking.

“Electricity theft causes a loss of Rs600 billion annually. We will stop it at any cost and not bow to political pressure or threats,” he said.

The minister said there was an annual loss of Rs137 billion in Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and tribal areas. “Apart from Karachi, electricity worth Rs51 billion is being stolen annually in Sindh. Electricity worth Rs133 billion is being stolen in Punjab and Rs100 billion power is being stolen in Balochistan,” he said.

“Electricity worth Rs65 billion is being stolen in Peshawar, Mardan, Dera Ismail Khan, Nowshera and Charsadda,” he added.

Leghari said it was not possible to discriminate against any province involved in electricity theft. Attempts were being made to give it a political colour but the government would take measures to stop electricity theft without political rhetoric, he maintained.

“There was pressure on all the chief ministers on the issue of loadshedding, but no one reacted like the KP chief minister. If he wants 24-hour electricity to people of his province, then our formula will provide better results,” he concluded.


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