Rs600 Billion Lost Annually to Electricity Theft: Minister


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Energy Sardar Owais Ahmad Laghari has revealed that electricity theft causes an annual loss of Rs600 billion to Pakistan.

In an interview with Geo News programme Jirga, hosted by Saleem Safi, the minister disclosed that the country had 6,000 megawatts of surplus power on Saturday, but it was not supplied to avoid an additional Rs2.5 billion loss.

“Feeders requesting electricity are not metered, and illegal transformers have been installed. Providing power to these would unfairly burden consumers with meters. The government cannot subsidize electricity theft; it is our duty to stop it,” Laghari stated.

He emphasized that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Balochistan have been urged to curb electricity theft, noting that Punjab’s chief minister proactively supported these efforts. Laghari reiterated the significant financial impact, saying, “Electricity theft causes a loss of Rs600 billion annually. We are committed to stopping it, regardless of political pressure.”

Detailing the regional losses, the minister reported an annual loss of Rs137 billion in Pesco and tribal areas, Rs51 billion in Sindh (excluding Karachi), Rs133 billion in Punjab, and Rs100 billion in Balochistan. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, cities like Peshawar, Mardan, Dera Ismail Khan, Nowshera, and Charsadda account for Rs65 billion in stolen electricity.

Laghari dismissed any notions of provincial bias, stating, “It is impossible to discriminate against any province involved in electricity theft. Attempts to politicize the issue will not deter us from taking necessary actions.”

Addressing the issue of loadshedding, he mentioned that while there was pressure on all chief ministers, none reacted as the KP chief minister did. “If the KP chief minister wants 24-hour electricity for his province, our formula will yield better results,” he concluded.

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