The federal government has decided to set up gas utility courts throughout the country to overcome the menace of gas theft and recover dues from chronic defaulters.
This development comes as part of amendments suggested in the draft of the Gas Utility Companies Act 2010. The draft has been sent to major industrial groups. Feedback is expected within the next 30 days.
Under the new law, district level gas courts will be set up. Those found guilty of gas theft, will be penalised with three years imprisonment or a fine of Rs5 million or both.
Gas companies will be empowered to suspend gas to any consumer or sector at any time for operational reasons.
After approval of the act in the assembly, gas companies will be exempted from an audit by the Auditor General of Pakistan and will abide by Companies Ordinance 1984.