Senate Standing Committee on Power in its meeting on Thursday has directed the power division to take the sub-committee’s recommendations before the cabinet and take a decision on exercising loadshedding in accordance with the recovery rate. The Committee members called for having a zero tolerance policy for areas having a higher electricity theft rate and recommended that electricity should be provided on the basis of what percentage of customers pay bills.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Fida Muhammad here at the Parliament House on Thursday and was attended by Senators Aurangzeb Khan, Nauman Wazir Khattak, Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Akbar Khan, Mushahidullah Khan, Special Secretary Power, MD NTDC, MD ADEP, CEOs PESCO, LESCO, TESCO and representatives of other Distribution Companies. The Committee was told that the boards of distribution companies are independent of any political interference from the ministry in tackling theft. The Committee urged the companies to come forward if any matter relating to theft, losses, interference demands committee’s intervention.
The Committee discussed in detail the matter of outsourcing some distribution network to private sector, having proper metering system in place in areas of FATA, pending payments to Sindh irrigation department for work on Guddu barrage, and taking employees of WAPDA and DISCOs to task who are found guilty of involvement in theft. The Committee was told that DISCOs across the countries have around 120,000 employees out of which around 20,000 are found involvement in theft or other related activities are under investigation. The matters related to K-Electric were to be under deliberation in two special committees constituted by the Prime Minister under Advisor on Commerce and Industry and Secretary Privatisation.
Regarding appointment of maintenance staff for solar tube wells in FATA, the committee was told that this project was not undertaken by power division or ADEP. The Committee decided to write to and call the relevant authorities in KP government and FATA secretariat. Regarding installation of defected and expired electricity meters in Askari 11 Housing Society, the committee was told that the meters were not fixed by LESCO but by the society administration itself, however, LESCO has replaced all 209 meters with new functional ones. The Committee decided to call AC Revenue Khyber and concerned authorites regarding alleged sale of land to TESCO for installation of grid station in Jamrod without the consent of the owner.
The Committee was also given a briefing on the budget and expenditure of power division. The ministry has a total of 245 million non-development budgetary allocation for the current fiscal year 2018-19 for power division, ADEP and NECCA out of which 95 million has been spent.