ISLAMABAD: An official report has revealed the names of 100 officers of the electricity distribution companies (DISCOS), who inflicted heavy losses on the public purse with their corrupt practices.
The record, submitted to the lower house of parliament last week, held Syed Mushtaq Bukhari responsible for losses amounting to Rs200 million to Multan Electric Supply Company (MEPCO). Bukhari, who was a finance director in MEPCO, unfairly invested the taxpayers’ money in the Trust Bank but never returned the amount.
It maintained that Bukhari is the latest addition to some 100 officers of various DISCOS involved in corruption. It added despite injecting hundreds of billions of rupees in the power sector, corruption could not be curbed by the ministry of water and power as some 375 officials were found involved in the irregularity in different power distribution companies across the country in 2014.
It highlighted top ten electricity distributors who have been registering more than 152 power theft cases every day since 2010, yet the rate of conviction in these cases remains a dismal 1.5 per cent. They registered more than 279,005 cases over the last few years but only 4,427 electricity ‘thieves’ were convicted.
Elaborating, the record, submitted in a response to a question by MNA Ramesh Kumar, continued that Abdul Khaliq and Muhammad Sharif received costly jewelry from consumers in Lodhran. Muhammad Naeem, Admin Director MEPCO informed the ministry that around 26 officers were involved in corrupt practices in the company. The DISCO filed 5,305 cases against electricity thieves and 74 officials were found involved.
In Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), Ali Zulqarnain Kiani, Manager, allegedly embezzled Rs76.5 million with connivance of supervisor Muhammad Azam and lower division clerk Muhammad Arif. Director General Admin Gujranwala (GESCO) Hashmat Ali Kazmi said 26 officers and 171 employees were found involved in corrupt practices in last two years. It also registered 16,453 electricity theft cases during this period, adding that only 65 persons were convicted so far.
Tahir Nadeem Ahmed of National Transmission and Dispatch Company informed the ministry that 13 officers and 10 officials were involved in embezzlement which caused Rs7.1 million losses to the national exchequer. Tribal Areas Electricity Supply Company informed the ministry concerned that 3 officers and 9 officials were involved in corruption cases last year.
Director Admin Ehsan Siddiqi of FESCO revealed that one officer and 23 officials committed embezzlement involving losses worth Rs15 million to the national exchequer. The FESCO registered 3,708 cases against electricity thieves and 47 officials were involved in it. The record shows that the company lodged 15,102 FIRs against thieves but only 897 were convicted.
Similarly, Lesco, which registered 93,007 electricity theft cases, could only get 654 accused convicted between 2010 and 2013.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2015.
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