Senate committee informed of Rs20m daily theft of gas

Petroleum minister says local administration and police also involved 

APP February 06, 2017
"Presently, the textile industry is passing through very difficult times with exports down almost 16% due to recessionary trends globally," Aptma Sindh-Balochistan Region Chairman Tariq Saud. CREATIVE COMMONS

ISLAMABAD: The sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources was informed that around Rs20 million worth of natural gas is being stolen from Karak, district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) on a daily basis.

“Gas is being stolen daily from Karak and this is happening with the connivance of the local administration and the police,” Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the meeting.

He said that whenever the concerned gas company disconnected the illegal gas connections, these were restored under the supervision of the deputy commissioner and police.  The ministry has discussed the issue with K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in detail, however the issue could not be resolved, said Abbasi.

The committee meeting, chaired by Fateh Muhammad Muhammad Hassani, summoned K-P’s chief secretary, home secretary, inspector general of police and Karak deputy commissioner in the next meeting to explain the situation.

Hassani assured the ministry that the committee would extend all possible assistance in ending the gas theft which is causing loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer. The sub-committee expressed displeasure over the absence of Pakistan Petroleum Limited’s (PPL) managing director from the meeting and the incomplete briefing on the last five-year performance of the company by the officials present.

It also noted that the compensation amount was not being given to land-affected people of Balochistan by oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies carrying out exploration activities in different parts of the province.

“Elected representatives of 10 union councils, out of total 13 in Kharan district, have complained in writing that the people are not being paid compensation on account of land acquisition by E&P companies,” said the committee chairman.

He directed the companies to ensure compensation amount to landowners.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2017.

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