ISLAMABAD - A special committee of the National Assembly (NA) formed on energy crisis was informed that electricity line losses, including distribution, transmission and theft, appear annually to bear the brunt of poor performance of DISCOs (electricity distributing companies) of the country.

The special committee, formed to explore the avenues of coping with escalating energy crisis of the country, met on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Usman Tarkai to discuss the ongoing rising energy crisis in the country where National Transmission and Dispatch Company, Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and Power Ministry briefed the NA Panel about swelling theft and losses in power sector.  The NA body was informed that owing to breach in limitations determined by NEPRA regarding distribution and transmission of electricity, it had been calculated that a loss worth Rs 54 billion was recorded, while heavy theft of electricity has been touching a loss of Rs 37 billion in total annually.

Syed Naveed Qammar, Federal Minister for Water and Power, while briefing the committee, said that growing influence of the parliamentarians had been badly affecting the performance of the DISCOs. However, the federal minister has further informed the committee that the parliamentarians had been desperately striving hard to ensure the appointments of their blue-eyed SDOs (Sub-divisional officers) and XENs (executive engineers) in the DISCOs. Chairman NEPRA, Khalid Saeed, while briefing the NA body, terming both, the theft and losses as fatal and critical said we cannot put extra burden on common man to bear the brunt of poor performance of the DISCOs which had so for added to the woes of the power consumers, facing unscheduled long hours loadshedding. While criticising the prevailing 15-18 hours loadshedding in the country, Chairman of the NA special committee asked the Water and Power Secretary, Imtiaz Qazi to explain why the loadshedding is increasing even in winter season. He however deplored that the committee remained far behind in achieving its prime targets.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a member of the committee said he was unable to understand the nature of problems being faced by the power ministry and the concerned authorities. He further said that an increase of Rs 3.29 per unit of electricity has become necessary as was determined by the NEPRA. 

It is important to note here that during the meeting, Bushra Gohar, a committee member deplored the abysmal situation of the bad administration and corruption in distribution and transmission organisations. She criticised the organizations over not submitting the list of defaulters till this effect.