THE UNION Government is considering a move to amend the Electricity Act – 2003 again, this time making power theft a non-bailable offence and increasing the jail term slapped on an offender guilty of power theft.
The move is being looked upon as a potent mechanism to put a curb on the large incidences of power theft currently being reported from all across the country. More than 40 per cent of the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses occurring throughout the nation have been attributed to power theft. The loss to government exchequer as a result of the malpractice is estimated to be nearly Rs 8000 crore.
“The proposal is most likely to be cleared in Parliament’s next session and would go a long way in preventing power theft and subsequent losses to government exchequer”, Union Energy Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told the Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
Shinde emphasised that once the amendment went through, the government would be able to take stringent action against incidences of power theft – specially by industrialists and other major consumers that indulge in large scale power pilfering.
“With the offence being declared non-bailable accompanied with an increased jail term, the government would also be able to save huge sums of revenue that otherwise are lost due to T&D losses through power theft”, Shinde asserted.