ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan Wednesday said the government
was taking a range of measures to generate cheap renewable energy and stop
electricity theft by installing Aerial Bundle Cable (ABC) and advanced metering
infrastructure in high theft areas.
During question hour, the minister told the National Assembly the aerial
bundle cable (ABC) which could stop electricity theft, would be installed in
areas of IESCO, PESCO and LESCO with the financing of $ 900 million by the
Asian Development Bank.
Omar said the government was focusing on renewal energy and a new policy
would be introduced by March.
The cost of solar energy was dropping down in the world and the effort
would be to replace renewal energy with the expensive electricity, he added.
The minister told the government was prioritizing indigenous resources for
affordable generation including local Thar coal and hydel power.
He said when the government came into power, issue was high tariff and
National Electric Power Authority (NEPRA) was suggesting increase in tariffs.
However the government took measures to provide relief to consumers, he added.
He said there was no increase in rates for consumers using 300 units of
electricity and rate of Rs 5.25 per unit was given for tubewells.
Relief of Rs 1.27 per unit was given to the farmers while the Ministry of
Power planned to save Rs 150 billion through different measures. The minister
said the government was charging 35 percent capacity charges from consumers
because it could not utilize the generated electricity due to lack of demand.
He said 8000 FIRs have been registered against officials of power companies
involved in theft of electricity.
Half of the electricity theft was occurring in areas of Peshawar Electric
Supply Company (PESCO) and the problem was severe in areas of Peshawar, Bannu
and Dera Ismail Khan.
The minister said Chitral had great hydel potential while Pakistan had the
potential of 60,000 megawatts of hydel electricity and a study was being
conducted to ascertain demand of electricity in future before setting up new projects.
The federal and provincial governments were working together to plan hydel
generation projects which would be set up keeping in demand from consumers, he
He informed that NEPRA would announce the new tariff for electricity for
which it already held its hearing and made the determination.
To a question asked by MNA Aslam Bhootani, Omar said the private entity K
Electric should invest in transmission lines in Lasbela district and resolve
issues faced by the consumers. He said power losses were occurring due to
technical losses, faulty lines and lack of investment in the distribution
The minister said the circular debt increased by Rs 400 billion as the last
government supplied electricity to areas where theft was already high. One of the
reasons for high tariff was power theft in almost all the distribution
He said Balochistan had 27,000 tubewells and they were being put on solar
system. As the water table was getting low in the province, the solarization of
tubewells was being done to save energy costs. More small dams would be
constructed in Balochistan to conserve water.
To a question posed by MNA Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, he said the fixed charges
on tubewells were abolished which was appreciated by the farmers.
He said he issued directives for installation of transformers of same
specifications, adding a mafia was making money on maintenance of transformers.
The network of the “transformer mafia” would be broken, he added. When MNA
Iqbal Muhammad Ali drew attention of the over billing by K-Electric in Karachi,
the minister assured that he would take up the matter with the private power
The minister said setting up of power plants in distant coastal areas was
not feasible as it would require long distance transmission lines.
He said the deposit of silt in Tarbela dam could be controlled after
building of dams upstream on the Indus river.
MNA Yousaf Talpur complained that areas in his constituency in Sindh was
without light for hours. MNA Akhtar Mengal told that Gwadar was still getting
electricity from Iran and districts of Makran were not being fed by national