LAHORE: Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi said on Monday the government is taking concrete steps to curb power theft and overbilling in power distribution companies.

While addressing a news conference in Lahore Monday, he said overbilling of 830 million electricity units has been detected in Lahore Electric Supply Company only. These units were overbilled to government offices, industry and common man, he said, adding: Prime Minister has assured full support to the FIA in campaign against overbilling and the drive of FIA against overbilling will not stop until the issue is fully resolved.”

Mohsin Naqvi disclosed that FIA along with Power Ministry is going to launch a campaign against power theft in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He added that the FC’s assistance would be sought for conducting raids against power pilferers in Peshawar, Kohat and other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

To a query, he revealed that even some of the LESCO officials admitted that they had charged extra amounts from consumers. “It has come to light that the LESCO consumers were charged 830 million extra units in just one year,” he disclosed.

The interior minister also directed the Karachi-Electric (KE) officials to address the complaints of consumers against overbilling. “It was unfortunate that consumers were being charged extra units according to a well-thought-out plan. What can be more tragic than the fact that even a poor person consuming less than 300 units of electricity has received inflated bills,” he said.

He commended the FIA for launching a successful crackdown on those resorting to overbilling. He further said it was unfortunate that most incidents of electricity theft were reported from KP and Balochistan. “But we are mindful of that and are taking steps to put an end to this practice,” he said.

To a query, he said that the incident of killings of nine Punjabi passengers at Noshki, Balochistan was being investigated. He also disclosed that the government was also taking steps to upgrade the FIA’s cybercrime unit. “The government is ready for legislation whenever required in this regard,” he said, adding: “The government was contemplating tough legislation to control unbridled social media users.”

Regarding the murder of Amir Tamba in Lahore, he said that India had remained involved in the killings of civilians in Pakistan in the past and initial investigation evidence had been found of external involvement in this case too, however, nothing can be said with certainty unless the probe is complete.

When asked to comment about recent statements issued by PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah, the minister said he considered him his brother and would not like to comment on that.

About Bahawalnagar incident, he said he did not think it could be labeled as a confrontation between the two institutions. “After all, none can rule out a fight between two brothers living in the same home,” he said, adding, “We should refrain from exaggerating the matter.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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