The federal government’s crackdown on power theft, launched on September 7, has resulted in a substantial recovery of Rs18.4 billion.

Federal Secretary for Power, Rashid Mahmood Langrial, told The News Saturday, “While the primary focus is on collections, it’s crucial to underscore the foremost priority and objective of this anti-theft campaign is to instill a sense of ‘deterrence’ and ‘transform behavior’ among individuals, motivating them to fulfill their duty of timely bill payments and refrain from engaging in power theft and leakages.”With major defaulters now serving time behind bars as a result of the campaign, it is expected to naturally alter the perception of individuals on using electricity without making payments, he said.Langrial elaborated, “At present, the campaign is in full swing, and we anticipate seeing partially visible improvements in bill payments and the apprehension of thieves and defaulters by October 15, coinciding with the end of our current quarter. We will then be in a position to assess the campaign’s impact on a month-to-month and quarter-to-quarter basis.”The CEO of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) was dismissed at the outset of campaign, and the performance of chiefs of two other DISCOs is under evaluation for possible removal due to their inadequate performance, the secretary said. He also said during this campaign, 11 employees of DISCOs have been arrested and 136 suspended from their jobs.During the last month (Sept 7 to Oct 6), the government has registered 28,096 first information reports (FIRs) against individuals involved in power theft, leading to arrest of 13,778 suspects under the jurisdictions of all 10 state-run power distribution companies (Discos).The highest number of FIRs were recorded within the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) jurisdiction, totaling 13,293, Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) trails with 5,945 FIRs, Peshawar Electric SupplyCompany (Pesco) with 3,012, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) with 2,393, Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco) with 1,526, Sukkur Electric Supply Company with 717, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) with 412, QuettaElectric Supply Company (Qesco) with 380, Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) with 361 and Tribal Electric Supply Company (Tesco) with 57 FIRs.In Mepco, the highest number of 4,722 thieves/defaulters were arrested, followed by Lesco (4,660), Fesco (1,955), Pesco (1,018), Gepco (797), Iesco (269), Qesco (166), Sepco (132), Hesco (43) and in Tesco, 57 were arrested. The recovery figures from various power companies are: Lesco Rs4.77 billion, Hesco Rs2.595 billion, Pesco Rs3.347 billion, Sepco Rs2.196 billion, Mepco Rs1.94 billion, Qesco Rs836.8 million, Fesco Rs729.5 million, Gepco Rs521.8 million, Iesco Rs389.87 million and Tesco Rs61.6 million.

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