The government has recovered Rs46 billion in just 53 days during its anti-electricity theft drive, tweeted Secretary Power Division Rashid Langrial.

“We are working on the remaining problem space of Rs390 billion of which we can recover Rs46 billion in 53 days i.e. Rs867 million per day. We started our anti-power theft campaign on the 7th of September. Today, results till 31st October have been collated. That day, we promised that no one would be spared, high or mighty, sacred or not-so-sacred,” he said.

“The Power Division has reshuffled, suspended, prosecuted even arrested DISCOs’ staff at a scale never seen before; put thieves behind the bars at a rate never observed before i.e. roughly 470 persons per day; have shunned extraneous influence with the full support of the prime minister, minister-in-charge and other quadrants of state power.” He said, “In the process we have erred, learned, and corrected our course where needed.” He maintained that officers and staff have suffered at the hands of little mafias: they were thrashed, injured, made hostage, and fired upon.

“We have not relented and shall not. Period. Today as the results for the first two months (53 days to be exact) are out, I must put things in perspective. Our estimated annual losses across the national grid for the current year are Rs589 billion. Of these Rs589 billion, roughly Rs199 billion comes from ex-Fata, Balochistan tube wells, and AJK. These areas are not the focus of this campaign because of their own peculiarities: AJK collects its own bills but does not pay us at the same rate because it sees it as a contractually disputed payment; ex-Fata because they are exempted from meters due to a policy of appeasement in the wake of integration and Balochistan tube-wells on account of various factors, least of which is not the enforcement challenge.”

“If the same level of state support and field effort can be maintained (and that is a big if, I must admit), 80 percent of the problem space gets resolved. We are conscious of the challenge of sustaining the drive beyond the campaign but we have demonstrated beyond doubt that there is nothing that cannot be resolved with the right mix of state’s will and field effort.”


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2023-11-13

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