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PM orders countrywide crackdown against gas theft

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday ordered countrywide crackdown against gas theft, saying that gas worth Rs50 billion was being stolen annually while the government was giving a subsidy of Rs100 billion to 91pc gas consumers.

In a high-level meeting on gas sector anomalies, the prime minister was informed that the Rs50 billion worth stolen gas was being put in the category of unaccounted for gas (UFG) and the burden of stolen or wasted gas was passed on to the consumers.

The prime minister, while directing countrywide crackdown against gas theft, said that no leniency should be given in case of UFG, adding that performance of the gas companies’ heads would be evaluated from the UFG.

The prime minister was also briefed in detail about the demand and supply of gas in summer and winter seasons, present arrangements to fulfill the demand of gas for domestic, industrial and other sectors, and the future requirements.

The prime minister was also briefed about the policy to fulfill requirements of gas for the years 2019 and 2020. The meeting decided to bring 200MMCFD more gas keeping in view the requirements of gas for electricity and other sectors in the coming months.

The prime minister was briefed about the complaints of inflated gas bills. He was told that despite costly contracts with regard to buying imported gas, a mere 12pc to 35pc increase had been made in the bills of 91pc consumers.

The meeting was also briefed about the steps taken for the discovery of gas and the facilities given to such companies.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Advisor to the PM on Commerce Abdur Razak Dawood, Energy Task Force Chairman Nadeem Babar, federal secretaries and managing directors of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and  Sui Southern Gas Company.

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