When it comes to electricity, Sindh’s best-performing districts are only comparable with the worst-performing districts of Punjab in terms of power theft, data compiled by the Ministry of Energy indicates.

The interim government ordered a crackdown against those involved in power theft and defaulters after public protests over hike in monthly bills. The protests are due to an increase in tariff levied at a time when Pakistan is facing a revenue shortfall in billions of rupees. Police were involved in going after the thieves.

Majority of districts in Sindh were found having losses above 40 percent. Jacobabad, for example, reported power theft of 59 percent. Going by Nepra rules, all power distribution companies have been allowed losses to a certain extent depending on the overall situation of the area. The Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO), which supplies electricity to Jacobabad among other districts, is allowed a loss of 16.68 percent. In contrast, the loss SEPCO faces in Jacobabad is way too high.

Two other districts falling under SEPCO – Kashmore and Khairpur – have reported losses of more than 50 percent. As many as 15 districts of Sindh have been categorised among areas having losses more than 40 percent. There are six districts having shown losses of medium level (by provincial standard), which is between 20 percent to 40 percent. They are Sukkur, Sanghar, Badin, Umer Kot, Hyderabad and Tando Muhammad Khan.

This leaves two districts – Tharparkar and Jamshoro – as the best performers where the losses are less than 20 percent. In the former, the losses stand at 11 percent and in the latter district (Jamshoro), the losses are 15 percent. Hence these two districts stand out from the entire province, excluding Karachi. Since the provincial metropolis is being supplied power by Karachi Electric, it has not been counted.

Sindh’s best performing districts have nevertheless shown as much loss as has been recorded by Punjab’s worst-performers: Kasur, Okara, Rajanpur and Rahim Yar Khan where the average loss is 14 percent. Among them, Kasur is the worst performer with 16 percent loss. Others in order are Rajanpur (14 percent), Okara (13 percent) and Rahim Yar Khan (12 percent).

Compared to Sindh where 15 districts turned out to be the worst performers by having shown losses of more than 40 percent each, Punjab has as many districts in the best-performing category with losses less than five percent in each of them. They are Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin, Khushab, Faisalabad, Layyah, Bahawalpur, Toba Tek Singh, Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar, Multan, and Bahawalpur.

In as many as seventeen districts, the losses were reported between 5 percent to 10 percent. They are Attock, Jhelum, Chakwal, Mianwali, Bhakkar, Hafizabad, Chiniot, Sheikhupura, Nakana Sahib, Lahore, Pakpattan, Vehari, Lodhran, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Khanewal and Jhang.

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