Circular debt to be brought down to Rs225bn by Dec: Omar Ayub


ISLAMABAD: Reiterating government firm commitment to bring reforms in power sector including indiscriminate action against power pilferers and recovery from defaulters, Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub Khan on Tuesday said circular debt would be brought down to Rs 225 billion from existing Rs 603 billion by December 31, 2019.

Talking to journalists here, the minister said the circular debt escalated to Rs 450 in just one year due to delay in tariff determination, absence of proper plan to stop power pilferage and power supply to high losses feeders.

He said the past government did not give attention to power sector recovery besides continuous power supply to high losses feeders.

He said owing to the efforts of incumbent government, power sector revenue witnessed Rs.40 billion surge in last three months. Kunda culture was completely being eliminated with the support of public representatives and extensive drive against power theft, he said.

The minister said special anti-power theft campaign has been launched in interior Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and in FATA.

He said over 20,000 First Investigation Reports (FIRs) have been lodged against power pilferers besides arresting some 2000 accused so far. Across the board action was being taken against power thieves, he added.

He said raids were also being conducted during night to curb menace of power theft. Some 450 officials of various distribution companies were also terminated involved in power theft, he said.

Omar Ayub said Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO), Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), Multan Electric Supply Company (MEPCO) and Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) would be further bifurcated to bring improvement in their performance.

He said under-investment plan in power distribution companies (DISCOs), length of transmission lines of various feeders would be reduced to 20-25 kilometre which would not only help reduce lines losses but also end low voltage issue. The step would also help increase revenue, he said.

He said currently inefficient DISCOs, length of transmission lines were around 20-25 km while in in-efficient companies its length stretched to 120 Km.

The minister said the total installed capacity stood at 31000 MW and 60 per cent electricity was being generated from imported fossil fuel, 30 per cent hydel, 6 per cent nuclear and remaining 4 per cent from Renewable Energy sources.

He said transmission line was also being upgraded adding that arrangements have been finalized for Matiari-Lahore Transmission line. Ground breaking of the project was expected in next two months, he added.