ISLAMABAD - The government has set a target to reduce the electricity losses to 16 per cent from existing 33 per cent in the next four years, said an official. The government has also aims to reduce the losses of gas distribution to 5 per cent in the stipulated period from existing 10 to 12 per cent.

The official, requesting anonymity, said at present the electricity losses (theft, non-payment of bills, meter and unmetered supply and transmission distribution) are 33 per cent and the government aims to bring these losses down to 16 per cent till the end of fiscal year 2015-16.

“The government will increase supply of electricity and gas in efficient, affordable and environment friendly manner to spur and sustain growth,” the official added.

According to the official, the gas distribution companies’ losses have swelled by 10.3 percent on year-on-year basis to Rs 9.7 billion during the first nine months of fiscal year 2012. The consumers are estimated to have lost Rs38 billion in two years and Rs70 billion in three years.

The government bore a dint of Rs.1200 billion on account of subsidies given to the power sector in last four years (2008-2012) and the liquidity crunch in the power sector had resulted in under utilisation of installed capacity of up to 4000MW which had also affected investment in power sector.

According to the Economic Survey 2011-12, cost of power crisis to the country’s economy was approximately Rs 380 billion per annum which was around 2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).