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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of the federal cabinet on March 2, 2023. — APP 

ISLAMABAD: To boost the government’s performance in the power sector, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday directed the constitution of a special cabinet committee to finalise a strategy to end line losses, theft of electricity and solarisation of tube wells.

PM Shehbaz — who chaired a cabinet meeting in Islamabad — ordered relevant authorities to take necessary steps to line the power system with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA).

A proposal was also given to the federal cabinet regarding the formation of a special police force to be deployed in areas with 60% and more line losses.

PM Shehbaz directed the Power Division to hold a departmental action after the findings of an inquiry report held responsible for the ‘human and technical error’ for the countrywide power breakdown of January 23.

A massive power breakdown hit Pakistan on January 23, hampering businesses and the daily lives of the country’s more than 220 million people. The prime minister had also ordered an inquiry into the outage, which began at around 7:30am on that day.

The outage — which Energy Minister Khurram Dastagir had said was due to a voltage surge — was the second major grid failure in three months.

During the cabinet meeting, the prime minister gave the order as the inquiry report of the massive power breakdown was presented in the cabinet meeting.

The nation, he said, was awaiting strict action against those responsible for the incident that left the country in a power blackout for several hours.

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