Breaking News

Power Sector Encounters Losses of Rs560 Billion

Power Sector Encounters Losses of Rs560 Billion

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Energy, Sardar Awais Leghari, disclosed on Thursday that the power sector in Pakistan is projected to incur losses amounting to Rs560 billion by the end of June this year. He attributed these losses to two primary factors: Rs200 billion in unpaid bills from consumers and Rs300 billion lost due to power theft.

Addressing the media, Leghari outlined a plan shared with the prime minister to address power theft and minimize losses in the sector. He emphasized that the inefficiency of the power sector contributes significantly to the nation’s economic challenges, with more than half of the economy’s struggles attributed to this inefficiency. However, he expressed optimism that improving the power sector would lead to economic improvement. In response to the prime minister’s directives, comprehensive reviews have been conducted over recent weeks, leading to decisions on power sector reforms. These reforms, Leghari announced, will be detailed in the coming week.

Also Read: NEPRA Raises Power Tariff by Rs. 4.9 Per Unit

One of the primary challenges highlighted by Leghari is the rampant losses within the power sector, totaling over Rs560 billion. He criticized the involvement of officers and employees of distribution companies (DISCOs) in power theft, alleging that 20% of DISCO employees are complicit. To combat this issue, Leghari mentioned ongoing operations against electricity theft and plans to reconstitute DISCO boards to remove political influence and ensure independent functioning. Additionally, the government intends to privatize loss-making DISCOs, holding the newly formed boards accountable for performance. Leghari emphasized that accountability measures will be implemented starting a month from the announcement.

Regarding electricity production, Leghari acknowledged a decrease in March 2024 compared to February 2024, although there was an overall increase compared to the previous year. He highlighted fluctuations in different energy sources, with notable increases in hydropower and wind power, indicating potential for clean energy expansion. However, challenges persist in the coal sector, with significant declines observed. Despite these efforts, challenges such as declining electricity consumption and increasing capacity payments remain. Leghari acknowledged the need for supportive policies to promote renewable energy adoption and address accumulating capacity payments

In conclusion, while Leghari outlined measures to address issues within the power sector, challenges such as power theft, inefficiencies, and declining electricity consumption continue to pose significant hurdles. The government’s commitment to reforms and accountability measures aims to mitigate these challenges and pave the way for a more sustainable and efficient power sector in Pakistan.