Issue a fatwa against power theft – and receive free power – is the proposal that has been put before the Senate Standing Committee in Pakistan.
According to numerous local Pakistani news sources, if the prayer leader of a mosque issues a fatwa (religious decree) against power theft, “highlighting the ‘repercussions of using stolen electricity in daily life” that mosque will be given its first 400 units of electricity free each month.
This is in a bid to reduce current losses due to theft or losses on feeders from 80%, a situation power supplier Pakistan Electric Power Corporation (Pepco) says is unacceptable.
The committee believes that this move will sensitise people that it is wrong to steal power with “a warning of consequences of the crime in the life and the hereafter.”
It was further recommended that Pepco “evaluate the provision of two free hours electricity on feeder[s] having theft/loss of more than 80% and the saving incurred by not providing 22 hours of electricity to these very feeders.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union CBA and the Electricity Engineering Association marched in protest against the ongoing failure to bring electricity thieves to justice.
One of the demands from the participants is that security be provided for electricity staff “during prevention of the theft of electricity and recovery of electricity revenue” interventions. According to the union, three staff had been killed in Islamabad during the performance of those duties.
Trade union leader Khurshid Ahmed and president of the Electricity Engineering Association Ramzan Butt said additionally, the federal government must “fill the vacant posts of electricity distribution and transmission companies to ease the heavy burden upon the field staff and bring the contract employees performing their service satisfactorily on regular basis.”