Govt to hand over DISCOs to provinces

The Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, presided over a high-level meeting to discuss the handover of electricity distribution companies to the provinces. During the meeting, the Prime Minister was informed about the losses incurred by electricity theft, non-recovery of billed amounts, and line losses of electricity distribution companies. The meeting was also presented with a comparison of the existing administrative structure for bill collection in the federation and provinces, and it was noted that the transfer of the electricity distribution companies to the provinces is a constitutional measure that will significantly reduce the collection of bills and prevent theft.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the government is taking steps on a priority basis to prevent electricity theft and has formulated a strategy with the provinces to reduce the losses of electricity distribution companies. He has formed a committee to transfer the electricity distribution companies to the provinces and directed the committee to finalize the action plan soon. The committee will work with the provincial governments to determine the terms of reference and the deadline in this regard. The federal government will also provide technical assistance to increase the capacity of the provinces, and a better management structure for bill collection will play a crucial role in dealing with the power sector circular debt.

The meeting was attended by former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Engineer Khurram Dastgir, and Abid Hussain Bhayo, Minister of State Dr. Musaddiq Malik, Advisor to the Prime Minister Ahad Cheema, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa, chief secretaries of Punjab and Balochistan, and others. The Sindh government had previously contacted the federal government for the transfer of the system of electricity distribution companies.