ISLAMABAD: The federal and provincial governments, and not the distribution companies, should pay if they want supply of electricity in high losses areas, recommended a parliamentary committee on energy on Friday.

A four-member sub-committee led by Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak finalized the recommendations to eliminate electricity theft and line losses, one of the major sources of circular debt. He said that provincial governments’ deduction, if they ask supply of electricity in high losses areas, should be done from the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

The committee expressed annoyance over Rs 40 billion loss occurred by PESCO in the last six months due to supply of electricity to above 80 percent theft/loss feeders on the directions of Power Division, saying it is not acceptable.

The committee suggested that the federal cabinet should not impose its decision on the distribution companies, as their decision to provide uninterrupted electricity even in high losses areas has increased the losses of power distribution companies. If the federal cabinet wants to provide this kind of charity, it must provide funds to the DISCO either from its own resources or from the BISP (Zakat).

The committee also proposed that load shedding should be done on an equitable basis and PEPCO is to evaluate the provision of two hours free electricity on feeder having theft/loss of more than 80 percent and the saving incurred by not providing 22 hours of electricity to these very high theft/loss feeders will compensate losses.

An official of PESCO trough video link stated that provincial government was not providing support to them in checking the theft while the committee recommended that law enforcement agencies must provide help to the DISCOs in bringing about improvement in recovery by tackling theft.

The committee suggested a uniform formula to incorporate administrative losses of all the distribution companies, as various percentages of losses were not fair. The committee also suggested use of 5 KV transformers to lessen the technical losses. The committee chairman stated that in the US and Canada, each consumer has his own transformer as small as 5 KVA. At time when the consumer has very less requirement of electrify then 2 to 3 consumers are bundled together on a single 5 KVA transformer. The cost of 5 KVA transformer should be borne by consumer, fund of parliamentarian or Benazir Income Support Program.