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Govt Aims To Bring Circular Debt From Rs450 Billion To Zero By December 20

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Energy Minister Omar Ayub on Saturday said that the government aims to bring the circular debt down to zero from Rs450 billion by December 2020.

The government is planning to recover Rs300 billion from electricity “defaulters and thieves”, Omar Ayub said in a press conference, adding that power companies had been able to recover Rs81bn from private defaulters over the past eight months of the current fiscal year.

He also said that stern action has been taken against energy officers who are responsible for power losses. He also said that crackdown has been launched on power theft and that users should help identify thieves.

The minister said these efforts were required to ensure that electricity tariff was not increased for consumers using 300 units per month. “We will set aside Rs230bn subsidy in the upcoming budget to sec­ure these consumers having 300 units or less per month consumption.”

Ayub said that He said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) proposed Rs3.84 increase per unit in power tariff, but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) only allowed Rs1.27 per unit increased.

He also criticized the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s policies for putting an increase in the circular debt. He said that PML-N started seeking loss-making feeders to win elections that resulted in a circular debt of Rs450 billion.

“We have set the target to collect Rs100bn from defaulters and Rs200bn from those involved in power theft by June next year,” he said.

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