APCNGA backs drive to curb gas, power theft

Peshawar: The All Pakistan CNG Association APCNGA on Thursday lauded move of the government to launch crackdown against power and gas thieves. Meaningful action against pilferers is the only way to reduce Rs 250 billion losses to the national exchequer, it said.

Grand operation has conveyed a strong message to dishonest elements to stop their nefarious activities which will go a long way in resolving energy crisis and provide level playing field to all stakeholders, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA.

The development indicates that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif are completely focused on resolving the energy crisis which is very encouraging, he said in a statement issued here today.

Ghiyas Paracha said that curbing theft and giving exemplary punishment to the culprits will discourage theft in future, reduce line losses and help streamline energy supply.

He said adding that implementation of ban on natural gas fired generators will reduce crisis by 30 per cent while action against industrialists who are illegally generating electricity through natural gas and selling it will settle the gas crisis.

Ghiyas Paracha said that plundering national resources on massive scale was not possible without connivance of officials of the power and gas companies. The black sheep serving in the government departments should also be brought to book otherwise many would doubt the intentions behind the current drive, he warned.

Out of all UFG unaccounted for gas estimated at Rs 30 billion annually,16 per cent gas is stolen when lower government officials collude with consumers while rest of 84 per cent gas theft is carried out by the top officials of the gas companies.

Theft of energy is a serious crime and all elements involved in it must be dealt with an iron hand as they deserve no mercy, the leader of the CNG sector said.

Paracha said that APCNGA has been demanding action against energy theft since two years and that all out cooperation will be extended to newly constituted Taskforce on Eradication of Electricity and Gas Theft.

Lauding the Punjab government for initiating plans to create electricity through biomass, hydel and solar energy sectors, he said that the country cannot be put on the road to progress without preventing thefts, said Paracha.