Expensive yet unavailable electricity: Govt to crackdown on ‘corrupt’ officers in power companies

PM says Pakistan will host Central Asian States Summit in Islamabad, says PM
<p>Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs the federal cabinet meeting. PHOTO: ONLINE</p>

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs the federal cabinet meeting. PHOTO: ONLINE

With the country suffering from exorbitant power bills and extensive loadshedding in most parts of the country topped by a major grid breakdown late last week, the federal government has now decided to target “corrupt” officials in power companies.

This was decided on Tuesday during a meeting of the Federal Cabinet. The meeting was held in the PM Office with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair.

During the meeting, a detailed briefing was given by the Power Division regarding electricity theft, line losses and a comprehensive strategy to reduce them.

The meeting was told about power theft, line losses, bills and recovery in the DISCOS with the presentation of all the relevant data, besides, issues in the way of recovery from those feeders which had been running into losses and the steps and proposals in this regard.

The prime minister directed to prepare a list of ‘corrupt officers’ in power distribution companies and to replace them with “well-reputed” officers to improve the functioning of these companies, reduce the losses and ensure better public service delivery.

He observed that such performing offices should be encouraged with appreciation and awards.

Gwadar port summit

Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan will host a Central Asian States summit in Islamabad in which decisions on the establishment of a rail, road, and energy corridors linking Gwadar and Karachi ports would be taken.

He also briefed the cabinet over his recent foreign visits to the Kazakhstan.

He said that during his participation in international conferences including Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the United Nations General Assembly session and most recently in Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), he held detailed meetings with leaders of Central Asian Republics.

During these meetings, he said discussions on agriculture commodities, gas, rail, road, infrastructure and linkages, besides energy corridors were held.

He added that it was decided that soon, Pakistan would host a Central Asian States summit in Islamabad to further mutlilateral interest in Gwadar and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Approving grants for wheat seeds

With floods wiping away agriculture in most parts of Pakistan, the government approved a plan to support flood-hit farmers in the country.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet had on Monday approved a technical supplementary grant of Rs3.2 billion in favor of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research for the purchase and subsequent transfer to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for the procurement and distribution of wheat seed in flood-hit districts.

The move is aimed at ensuring plantation of wheat in the upcoming rabi season.

The cabinet, per recommendation of the ECC, further endorsed the release of Rs17 billion technical supplementary grant for the Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Program for the fiscal year 2022-23.

The federal cabinet also directed for the continuation of the census process without any delay.

Installation of advanced meters

The federal cabinet also approved, in principle, the expansion of a pilot project to install advanced power meters in the federal capital to prevent line losses.

A similar project to install advanced meters on power transformers was also approved.


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