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Federal Energy Minister Awais Leghari Exposes Rs600 Billion Annual Loss from Power Theft in Pakistan

In a recent interview, Federal Energy Minister Awais Leghari emphasized that power theft in Pakistan results in an annual loss of Rs600 billion. He pointed out that despite having an excess of 6,000 megawatts of electricity available on a recent Saturday, it couldn’t be supplied due to potential financial losses amounting to Rs2.5 billion to the national exchequer.

Leghari attributed the inability to provide electricity to areas with illegal transformers to the absence of metered feeders, emphasizing that supplying power to these unauthorized setups would unfairly burden consumers who pay for their electricity. He stressed the government’s responsibility to curb electricity theft, asserting that the federal administration had urged provinces like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Sindh to cooperate in efforts to combat this rampant issue.

Regarding the financial impact, Leghari detailed annual losses: Rs137 billion in Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and tribal areas, Rs51 billion in Sindh (excluding Karachi), Rs133 billion in Punjab, and Rs100 billion in Balochistan. He further specified losses amounting to Rs65 billion in specific regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Peshawar, Mardan, Dera Ismail Khan, Nowshera, and Charsadda.

Addressing concerns of political bias, Leghari emphasized that the government’s actions against electricity theft were driven solely by the need to protect national resources and not influenced by political considerations. He praised Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz for proactively supporting federal efforts without prompting, highlighting the collaborative approach necessary to address the issue effectively.

In conclusion, Leghari affirmed the government’s commitment to tackling electricity theft decisively, dismissing any attempts to politicize the issue. He expressed confidence in the government’s strategies to ensure fair distribution of electricity and mitigate losses, pointing out that effective measures could lead to substantial improvements in power supply across Pakistan.

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