KATHMANDU: The government on Monday decided to prevent electricity theft and leakage with effective measures.

A meeting of concerned authorities presided over by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal made a decision to this effect today, the PM's Secretariat informed in a statement after the meeting.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister directed the concerned bodies to bring all involved in theft and leakage to book and take stern actions against them.

"Electricity leakage and theft have inflicted a loss of millions of rupees on the state," the statement quoted the PM as saying, "But, people are compelled to live in darkness."

"Please tell (us) if there is any problem in the laws to punish such staff and others. The government is ready to amend laws and add news provisions," he said, "But, please let us seriously prevent electricity theft and leakage."

The Prime Minister was of the view that only the hydropower development could make economic prosperity possible in the nation.

Minister for Energy Janardan Sharma; National Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Min Bahadur Shrestha; Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi; secretaries at the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy; Nepal Electricity Authority Executive Director Kul Man Ghising as well as representatives of security agencies were present in the meeting.

Meanwhile, Minister Sharma informed the meeting that he was moving ahead with a mission to end the energy crisis.

"The Ministry has prepared a 37-point plan of action on the day I was appointed," he said, "However, it is not enough to end the energy crisis."

A total of 26 per cent electricity produced is being stolen currently, according to the NEA Executive Director Ghising.