PTI government unveils ambitious plan to cut the circular debt by Rs 225 billion

PTI government unveils ambitious plan to cut the circular debt by Rs 225 billion
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*ISLAMABAD:*The incumbent government has embarked on an ambitious programme to cut down circular debt to Rs225 billion by December after it escalated to Rs450 in an years time, sources told APP.

According to sources, circular debt escalated to Rs450 billion 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.

However, as per the plan, circular debt would be brought down to Rs225 billion from the existing over Rs600 billion by December 31, 2019.

Sources alleged that the past government did not give attention to power sector recovery besides continuous power supply to high losses feeders.

They said owing to the efforts of the incumbent government, power sector revenue witnessed a Rs40 billion surge in the last three months. “*Kunda* culture is being eliminated with the support of public representatives and extensive drive against power theft”, they added.

According to sources, special anti power theft campaigns have been launched in interior Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.

The sources said that over 20,000 First Investigation Reports (FIRs) had been lodged against power pilferers and over 2,000 accused have been arrested so far.

The sources further said that raids were also being conducted during night to curb menace of power theft. Over 450 officials of various distribution companies found involved in power theft have been terminated.

A per the plan, 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.

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

They said transmission line was also being upgraded adding that arrangements had been finalized for Matiari-Lahore Transmission line.

They said that there were total 840,000 power transformers in the country and talks were being held with the World Bank (WB) for installing separate meters on every transformer.

It would not only identify exact power consumption but also reduce line losses besides improving revenue collection.

Economy