Offici­als of distri­bution firms suspen­ded for violat­ion of load-sheddi­ng schedu­le

Any revenue loss in the wake of electricity theft would put burden on the compliant and bill-paying consumers through higher electricity prices. PHOTO: REUTERS

Any revenue loss in the wake of electricity theft would put burden on the compliant and bill-paying consumers through higher electricity prices. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari has sought cooperation and assistance of four provinces in making electricity bill recoveries from consumers and curbing power theft in an effort to eliminate load-shedding from more areas of the country.

In a letter written to chief ministers of the four provinces, the minister proposed the constitution of a joint task force of the federal and provincial governments tasked with proposing uniform measures, sharing information and improving coordination.

He asked provinces to nominate their representatives for the task force and expressed willingness to meet the chief ministers to discuss modalities for cooperation.

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He emphasised that support of provincial governments in improving revenue collection, ensuring security and policing would go a long way towards improving living standards of the people of Pakistan. “Together our endeavours are bound to bear fruit,” he remarked.

In the letter, the hurdles and challenges being faced by the power sector in achieving their goals were also highlighted. Among the challenges, power theft is posing a serious threat to revenue collection and is disturbing liquidity of the sector, which was a must for smooth functioning.

The minister pointed out that any revenue loss in the wake of electricity stealing would put burden on the compliant and bill-paying consumers through higher electricity prices which, in turn, would impact the quality of life of the consumers besides putting a strain on the national exchequer.

While outlining the important role of provincial governments, Leghari put emphasis on collective efforts to further the national good. He also mentioned the support extended by provinces to the federal government in introducing amendments to the legislative framework.

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In a bid to constantly monitor the load-shedding schedule, Power Information Technology Company is keeping a close watch on all feeders whereas power distribution companies have been directed to strictly adhere to the schedule.

A special hotline has been established to monitor and report violation of the schedule.

Suspension orders have been issued for some officials of the distribution companies after a special monitoring unit of the Power Information Technology Company detected violation of the load-shedding schedule being implemented from December 4.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2017.

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