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Punjab CM forms task force to check power theft

Updated October 10, 2018

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The task force will act as a monitoring instrument of the chief minister’s office with regard to steering the strategic direction of the related roadmaps and priorities. ─ Online/File
The task force will act as a monitoring instrument of the chief minister’s office with regard to steering the strategic direction of the related roadmaps and priorities. ─ Online/File

LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to form a task force for checking electricity theft.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Tuesday. Federal Power Minister Umer Ayub Khan, Punjab chief secretary, federal secretary power, additional IG, ACS (energy), the Lesco CEO and secretaries of the concerned departments attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed strategy with regard to the prime minister’s campaign for curbing power theft and decided to constitute a chief minister’s task force to be headed by a provincial secretary for the purpose.

Special committees will also be constituted at divisional and district levels with respective commissioners and deputy commissioners as their heads and representation of district police officers in the bodies.

The task force will have full cooperation and support of the federal government and other federal agencies concerned.

The meeting decided to take up power theft by industrial, commercial and big domestic consumers in the first phase.

The chief minister directed that officials of the power distribution companies conniving with the power thieves should also be taken to task irrespective of their political affiliation and influence.

Umer Ayub said losses worth Rs300 billion were being incurred due to electricity theft or other technical problems each year. The latest technology is being introduced to overcome the menace, he added.

Meanwhile, the anti-encroachment committees have been constituted at district level to monitor the ongoing operation against land grabbers and encroachments. Deputy commissioners will head the committees in their respective areas which will also include concerned DPO/CPO, a district officer of the local government department and senior officers of development authorities. MNAs and MPAs of the district, civil society members and notables of the area will also be included in the bodies to be responsible for planning and monitoring of operation against encroachments and land grabbers.

The chief minister, however, directed that slums and vendors should be spared in the operation.

governance reforms: The Punjab government has formed a task force on governance reforms and their monitoring to assist chief minister’s office in furthering the reforms in government structures.

According to a notification, the task force, headed by Fazeel Asif Jah, will act as a monitoring instrument of the chief minister’s office with regard to steering the strategic direction of the related roadmaps and priorities. It will identify specific targets and plans for efficient service delivery of public goods, monitor efficient delivery of public services through an automated Citizens Grievances Redressal System, evaluate and analyse public data, including different stock-takes for taking informed policy decisions and choosing appropriate policy instruments, and create synergy of efforts by various departments or agencies for resolving complex cross-agency issues in priority governance areas.

Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2018

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