ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary sub-committee on Thursday proposed to the government to take help from religious scholars to issue Fatwas for curbing electricity theft.

“We have to create awareness regarding the electricity theft through Fatwas and have to inform consumers that using the stolen electricity for daily use including making meals is haram,” Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak said while presiding over a meeting of sub-committee of the standing committee on power.

“To control the power theft, there is a need to sensitize the public about its negative fallouts in this world and hereafter,” he said.

Briefing the committee regarding the magnitude of technical losses and theft in the distribution companies (DISCOs), officials of the Power Division said that the losses were now at 17.8 percent on an average.

It was informed that the losses have gradually been overcome.  The meeting was told that the highest losses were reported by the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (37.4 percent), the Sukkur Electric Supply Company (36.5 percent) and the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (30 percent).

The subcommittee was informed that in last 11 months (from July 2017 to May 2018), the financial losses caused by technical losses and theft was recorded at over Rs56 billion. “We don’t have enough capacity to assess the actual power losses,” the Pakistan Electric Power Company Managing Director told the meeting.

He said that they were not making full recovery against the quantity of power they were selling to the consumers. The sub-committee was further informed that the losses have been assessed through a third-party that has identified technical and distribution losses. The NEPRA had allowed various DISCOs with different thresholds of technical losses in the range of 11 percent to 31 percent, the official said. The committee asked the official to brief the committee on these losses in detail.

Senator Wazir asked the officials that what was the quantum of losses that added to total losses through kunda system? The committee, however, termed the statistics regarding losses unsatisfactory and rejected it and asked the officials of the ministry to present the complete details of the losses and theft at the next meeting.

The committee also directed the Power Division to provide details of the electricity units that had been provided to DISCOs and also provide details of the electricity grids’ efficiencies at the next meeting. 

The committee also summoned chief executive officers of all DISCOs at the next meeting and also asked the NEPRA officials to attend the meeting. Regarding the K-Electric, the committee was informed that at the time of its privatization, technical and distribution losses were 35 percent which has now reduced to 25 percent.