PM Imran orders countrywide crackdown against gas theft

  • PM Imran directs that No leniency should be shown towards those found involved in the gas theft crime.
Pakistan

LAHORE – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed a countrywide crackdown on gas theft and decided to immediately import two million Cubic Feet per Day to meet gas requirements of power and other sectors in upcoming months, Radio Pakistan reported.

In a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad to review matters regarding gas sector, the premier was informed that the federal government is giving a subsidy of about 125 billion rupees to provide relief to 51 per cent of gas consumers despite all odds.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister directed countrywide crackdown against gas theft, adding that no leniency should be shown towards those found involved in the crime.

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Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Advisor to PM on Trade Abdur Razak Dawood, Chairman Task Force on Energy Nadeem Babar, federal secretaries, OGRA chairman, managing directors of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and other officials were present in the meeting.

The Prime Minister was briefed that gas worth fifty billion rupees is stolen and consumers have to bear this additional burden as well.

The prime minister added that the performance of the heads of the gas companies would be evaluated on the basis of stopping the UFG.

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The prime minister was also briefed about the complaints of inflated gas bills. He was told that despite the costly contracts for buying imported gas and other expenditures, merely 12 to 35 per cent increase had been made in the bills of 91 per cent of the consumers.

The meeting was informed that less than 10% of consumers who used 500 to 1,000 units of gas per month had been issued inflated bills.

The meeting also discussed in detail about the demand and supply of gas in summer and winter seasons, present arrangements to fulfil the demand of gas for domestic, industrial and other sectors and the future requirements.

Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of overbilling of gas on domestic consumers and directed Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan to conduct an inquiry into the matter.