LAHORE: A 10 percent electricity bills/recovery loss in the province of Punjab may be equal to the total demand of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Balochistan combined, said power sector sources.

They said percentage at times does not mean much. Rather, it is the quantity that matters in terms of kilowatt hour (KWH) in the case of electricity and unaccounted for gas in MMbtu in case of natural gas.

It may be noted that some districts in the province of Balochistan are incurring 90% or above losses, which cause Rs40 billion revenue loss. Furthermore, some other districts in the same province register loss between 81 and 90 per cent, causing Rs46 billion loss to the national exchequer.

Similarly, a few more districts in the province of Balochistan and major portion of the KPK record 61 to 80% recovery losses, causing Rs42 billion revenue loss. There are also a few districts in the KPK where recovery losses fall between 41 to 60 per cent with revenue loss of Rs97 billion.

In addition, some parts of KPK and the province of Sindh register loss between 21 to 40 per cent, causing revenue loss of Rs99 billion. However, there are some parts of Sindh as well as the south of Punjab where loss is between 21 to 40 per cent with revenue loss of Rs99 billion. Those where the recovery loss is between 11 to 20 per cent incur revenue loss of Rs42 billion.

In the province of Punjab, those areas with recovery loss between 6 to 10 per cent incur Rs68 billion, while those with 5 per cent or below cause a revenue loss of Rs37 billion.

The sources have pointed out that the provincial administrations, particularly those in Balochistan, KPK, and Sindh, do not extend any assistance to the power distribution companies against those involved in power theft and non-payment of electricity bills. They added that the government should invest in minimizing the recovery losses instead of investing in generation based on the imported fuels. They said that the DISCOs should be privatized as a whole instead of following the KE model where it is yet being fed from public sector sources.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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