FAISALABAD: Condemning gas theft taking place across Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to stop such corrupt practices in the country and hoped to end the current power crisis during his present tenure.
The premier was speaking to the business community of Faisalabad on Monday.
Nawaz said that gas theft takes place with the help of people working in the gas companies, adding that his government will punish the perpetrators.
He further asked the nation to be patient as it will take at least few years to fix the electricity problem.
The prime minister said his government has taken the right direction and people will see the difference in coming years.
While speaking to the businessmen, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the government will ensure that Faisalabad gets 14 hours of gas supply from January onwards.
He reiterated the premier’s stance on gas theft and said stopping others from stealing the national resource was his first priority.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that load shedding will decrease considerably in the coming months owing to a number of short projects initiated by the government, Radio Pakistan reported.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the 84 mega watt New Bong Escape Hydropower Project in Mirpur, he said projects undertaken to increase electricity production are long term ventures but since Pakistan has abundant water resources, the government will seek to utilize them optimally.
Nawaz said that a number of Chinese investors are working on energy projects in Pakistan, which when completed will help reduce the power crisis.
He further added that the Bong project would create economic opportunities for people in Azad Kashmir.
Nawaz assured foreign investors of assistance and cooperation.
He added that a one-window operation would be launched to facilitate investors.
PM Nawaz and Shahbaz visited a mill in Faisalabad that was involved in annual gas theft worth Rs0.2 billion, Express News reported.
The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) recently started an operation against gas theft and had raided multiple commercial mills and factories.
The mill in Faisalabad was also raided as a part of this operation and was fined a total of Rs0.11 billion.
The SNGPL head briefed the premier and chief minister today about the raids conducted by the gas company.
A case was filed against the owner of the mill and all the equipment used for gas supply was seized.
Express News also reported that a mill in Multan – involved in gas theft worth Rs0.12 billion - was raided.