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Pakistan Announces Major Crackdown on Electricity Theft

Image Source: ETAP / Shutterstock

Pakistan recently unveiled a plan to crack down on electricity theft and improve revenue collection in order to provide relief to the public. The strategy was presented by Minister for Power and Energy, Muhammad Ali, alongside Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi, at a news conference.

Ali disclosed that Pakistan’s distribution companies suffer a significant loss of 589 billion rupees due to electricity theft and nonpayment of bills. To tackle this issue, the government has outlined a three-pronged approach:

1. Technological Interventions

Technology-based solutions will be implemented in areas with high electricity theft to combat illegal power consumption.

2. Private Sector Engagement

The private sector will take over power distribution in areas with excessive theft to enhance efficiency and accountability.

3. Enforcement Measures

Stringent actions will be taken in regions with widespread theft to encourage prompt bill payments and combat theft. Minister Ali stressed the urgency of reforming the energy sector, including evaluating the performance of power distribution companies and reorganizing implicated officials. The government is working with provinces to establish Task Forces and develop the Electricity Theft Control Act. Multiple options, such as privatization and decentralization of power sector responsibilities, are being considered to improve performance. The crackdown on power theft involves compiling lists of companies involved and ensuring that public officials do not receive free electricity.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi, assured the public of the government’s commitment to constitutional norms and transparency. The initiative reflects the government’s determination to address financial losses in the power sector and ensure fair electricity distribution across Pakistan. By introducing technological solutions, engaging the private sector, and implementing enforcement measures, the government aims to recover revenues and establish a fairer electricity distribution system.

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