Govt to Handover Loss-Making DISCOs to Pakistan Army to Curb Electricity Theft

The government has decided to give up control of Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to the Pakistan Army and agencies to increase recovery of electricity bills and combat power theft.

A serving brigadier will take charge of Performance Monitoring Units (PMUs) in each DISCO, with support from Federal Investigation Agency and Intelligence Bureau officials tasked with identifying dishonest individuals both within DISCOs and those involved in electricity theft. The officials would have full authority to act, reported a national daily.

The Power Division has opted to first enforce the new plan at Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) on a trial basis.

As of September 6, 2023, the overall loss in Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, and Islamabad DISCOs was 79 billion units or Rs. 100 billion out of Rs. 3,044 billion in expected bills. Meanwhile, losses surged to 60 percent at DISCOs supplying electricity in Peshawar, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Quetta, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Notably, the situation at HESCO, SEPCO, QESCO, and TESCO is relatively worse, therefore the plan is to appoint a serving brigadier and FIA/IB personnel as supporting staff at each PMU. HESCO has been designated as a pilot project to expedite the recovery plan.

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