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ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to raise a Special Police Force to take stern action against electricity thieves on the pattern of Punjab CTD with operational autonomy, well-informed sources in the Ministry of Industries and Production told Business Recorder.

The decision was taken in a meeting on Prime Minister’s Strategic Roadmap presided over by the PM Shehbaz Sharif.

The Power Division Secretary, Rashid Langrial, informed the meeting that power theft has been the major contributor in the rising circular debt and immediate interventions are required to curb the menace. He proposed three interventions based on the percentage losses on feeders across the 10 Discos.

He proposed technological interventions (smart meters) on feeder with loss between 15 per cent and 30 per cent. Management outsourcing of feeders with loss between 30 per cent and 50 per cent and enforcement measures for feeders with losses above 50 per cent. Anticipated savings from these three measures are Rs87 billion, Rs96 billion, and Rs200 billion. respectively.

The prime minister agreed in principle to the proposals of the Power Division with the following directions: Technological Intervention- Power Division to immediate roll out the installation of smart meters from its available resources and submit a project to Planning Commission for the next financial year. Large-scale rollout shall be through the private sector on the “pay as you go” model.

Rs250bn saving anticipated: ‘Energy conservation roadmap’ readied

Timelines be presented in this regard; Management Outsourcing: Power Division to start the process of outsourcing after getting necessary approvals. A complete plan, with milestones will be presented in next stock take; Enforcement; - a Police Force for enforcement of electricity anti-theft law shall be raised on the pattern of Punjab CTD with operational autonomy; Law Division to assist Power Division in preparation of draft legislation to curb electricity theft; (vi) Prime Minister also desired a briefing on AMI Project under the umbrella of CPEC.

SAPM Tariq Fatemi will request the Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan to engage with China State Grid for the fast-track implementation of this initiative; Defence Minister to hold meetings in small groups with coalition leadership to brief them about the criticality of problems confronting power-sector and the measures proposed by Power Division to address electricity theft as well as conservation measures.

The meeting directed Petroleum Division to present plan for installation of commercial baffles to geysers.

The Minister for Industries and Production and the Secretary Industries and Production will be consulted regarding necessary interventions.

The Power Division has been directed to make a presentation on solarisation plan for up to 2,000-MW including solarisation of federal government offices and buildings of public-sector entities. The presentation shall cover implementation timelines, and responsibilities of various ministries.

The Power Division to constitute unit to assist ministries with the procurement and installation.

The Ministry of Industries and Production has been asked to present policy initiatives to incentivise adoption of E-bikes (along with financing options) in consultation with stakeholders, especially bike manufactures.

The National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) shall be the Secretariat for energy conservation measures.

The SAPM on Government Effectiveness will review the existing capacity and institutional framework of the NEECA and suggest measures to strengthen the institutional capacity of the NEECA. The committee already notified under the chairmanship of Minister Defence shall continue to oversee implementation with the NEECA providing the secretarial support.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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