ISLAMABAD - Senate Special Committee on Circular Debt was Tuesday informed that during last five years (from 2013-18) the circular debt has reached to Rs 573 billion.

The committee, held with Senator Shibli Faraz in the chair, discussed the issues of circular debt , electricity theft and load shedding.

Briefing the committee, Joint Secretary Power division said that from 2013-18 the circular debt has reached to Rs 573 billion. He said that the running defaulters is Rs 348 billion. He further said that the government is providing a subsidy of Rs 52.22 billion to AJK, Rs14.2 billion to Fata and Rs31.4 billion to industrial sector.

The joint secretary said that 650 MW electricity is being provided to K-Electric. He said that from March to July 2018 the generation cost of the electricity is Rs 8.52 per unit the consumer cost is Rs 11.9 per unit.

Terming the electricity theft and nonpayment of bills by influential people as a financial terrorism, the Senate committee has asked the government to make strategy for controlling the same.

The poor people are paying electricity bills regularly and if they miss one bill their electricity is being disconnected while the influential people are regular defaulters and due to their high contacts nobody is disconnecting their connections, said Shibli Faraz.

He said that avoiding paying electricity bills and dodging the punishment with their influence is financial terrorism.

He said that the government needs to adopt strategy to fight such the financial terrorism and should be dealt under Anti Terrorism Act.

Regarding loadshedding Pepco MD said that there are total 8631 feeders which have been divided in various categories.

"On the first category there are 5367 feeders where the losses are less than 10 percent. While at the end category the losses are more than 80 percent," he said.

Briefing the committee, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) CEO Imranul Haq said that their circular debt has surpassed Rs 300 billion which is affecting the performance of the state owned oil company. "That's why the company is facing problem in the investment," he said.

Imran said "They are getting only 9 percent payments monthly for the oil supply. Even now the Power Division has demanded 19000 tonnes furnace oil and if they refused the fuel supply to the power sector 9000 MW oil based electricity will vanish from the system."

The committee asked the MD PSO to provide the details of the circular debt and its proposal for its resolution to the committee in written.

Briefing about loadshedding and performance of the company, SEPCO Chief Executive Officer said that out of total 487 feeders, in SEPCO region, 51 have less than 10 percent losses while 299 have more than 80 percent losses.

He said that due to absence of writ of law the circular debt is increasing. The provincial government is not cooperating in controlling the theft.

He informed that 11800 applications have been given against the electricity theft where only 79 FIR were registered.

It is hard to work against the power thieves due to political interference, he added.

Hesco CEO said that there are 409 feeders in the Hesco region. Currently 118 feeders are loadshedding free while on the remaining there is 6 to 8 hours loadshedding, he added.

Pesco Chief said that the total consumers of Pesco are 3 million and there is capacity to consume 5000 MW electricity however due to weak transmission and distribution system the company can take only 2100 MW electricity.

"In absence of proper system Tesco is also getting power from Pesco. There are total 906 feeders in Pesco region where 17 to 18 are being shared with Tesco, he added. On 205 feeder there is a loss of 50 percent or above.

Shibli Faraz asked Pesco chief to provide the feeder wise details of the loadshedding. The meeting was attended by Senators Dr Jamaldeeni, Mir Kabeer, Usman Kakar, Sujjad Turi, additional secretary Power Division and other officials.