ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has arrested over two dozen electricity bill defaulters and their cases are being tried in accountability courts.

“Most of the arrested persons belong to Punjab,” NAB spokesman Ramzan Sajid said without giving details of the arrested people.

According to him, the total recovery made by NAB from the defaulters exceeds Rs425 million against receivables of Rs77 billion to be paid by the 63,254 defaulters.

After expiry of a 30-day deadline for payment of dues on April 19, NAB approached the provincial governments to seek police cooperation for possible arrest of defaulters.

Because of non-recovery of dues, the spokesman said, circular debt of the Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) had risen alarmingly and resulted in a significant burden on public exchequer, adversely affecting national economy and daily life of citizens.

He said NAB Chairman retired Admiral Fasih Bokhari had directed regional chapters of the bureau to pursue such cases for initiating criminal proceedings against the defaulters.

He said some of the arrested defaulters were later released after paying their dues.

The NAB has also directed the Discos to sever electricity connections of defaulters, and has warned of stern action against officials of the companies if they fail to do so.

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