ISLAMABAD  -  The Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Power has directed the Power Division and Discos to shun the power management plan of the previous government and the Companies CEOs should be free to increase the load shedding duration on the feeders with high losses and less recoveries.

The sub-committee, that met with Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak in chair, also directed to fire all the politically appointed members/directors from the Board of Directors (BoDs) of the Discos.

The sub-committee discussed the line losses and theft of electricity and proposed technical and administrative measures to eliminate theft in Discos and viability of outsourcing of  high-loss feeders.

The committee observed that there should be no role for the government in the affairs of Discos and power division can issue directives only in the meetings. Let the Discos work under the corporate governing rule of the SECP, the committee directed.

To reduce the losses and make the Discos profitable the CEOs of companies should be free to determine about the duration of the outage on the feeders with high losses. The convener of the committee said that due to losses the power consumers are being burdened and the public exchequer also faces billion of rupees losses.

Senator Nauman Wazir said Pesco suffered around Rs40 billion loss due to power theft and line losses during the last few months. The Boards should be free and for the national interest the Discos Board are authorized to take decisions in the light of Nepra's rule.

The sub-committee directed Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Discos for making the companies profitable and observed more load-management in areas of over 80 per cent losses.

In the feeders where there are high losses the Discos are allowed to undertake up to 22 hours load shedding, the committee said.  The committee recommended to provide two hours free electricity to such areas one in the morning and evening.

Nauman Wazir said the boards of distribution companies must be an independent and there should be no political pressure. Power division and Discos should let the Board decide independently about the load shedding timings on the feeders with high losses, he said.

The CEO of the Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) apprised the committee  that over 80 per cent of its feeders were in 90 per cent losses.

The committee proposed 18 recommendations to overcome losses and eliminate theft in DISCOs and outsourcing of high-loss feeders were also discussed in the meeting. The recommendations are included appointment of Board of Directors (BoDs) on merit, at least two years CEOs posting tenure, outsourcing of metering, billing and collection of bill amount and converting  all bare conductors in high loss areas to underground cables,.

A faculty member of University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar informed the committee that Chinese State owned company showed interest to make investment of $1 billion in Pesco on 50-50 per cent profit sharing.

The issue was deferred to the next meeting and asked Pesco to submit the draft in the next meeting and also share it with Nepra and other Discos.

The committee also asked the ministry of power to submit a plan for offloading the Discos to the provincial government and Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) to be taken as a test case. It is also recommended that at least 200 police officials and two magistrates should be given to DISCOs and their expenses to be paid by the companies.

The meeting was attended by Senator Auragzeb Khan, Secretary Power Division, GM NTDCL and other senior officials.