LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the campaign against electricity and gas theft is continuing throughout the province and gas and electricity theft of billions of rupees has been detected so far. He said that crackdown against gas and electricity thieves will continue. However, besides transparency, the legal demands and merit should also be kept in view during action, he directed. The Chief Minister said that there should be no excesses with innocent persons while strict action should be taken against guilty ones.

He was presiding over a high level meeting which reviewed the progress of ongoing campaign against electricity and gas thieves. Secretary Industry & Chairman Taskforce on Eradication of Gas and Electricity Theft Irfan Ali, MD Sui Northern Gas, DIG Operations, DCO Lahore and concerned officers attended the meeting.

Shahbaz Sharif said on the one side nation is plunged into darkness while on the other the thieves are moving freely. He said that in such a situation, the national responsibility of eradicating electricity and gas theft would be fulfilled at every cost. The Chief Minister directed that transparency should be kept in view during the campaign at all costs and the demands of justice should be fulfilled. He said that there is no justification of taking steps based on injustice. He directed that no leniency should be shown to electricity and gas thieves and action should also be taken against government officials involved in this heinous act.

While expressing his satisfaction over the pace of anti-electricity and gas theft campaign, Shahbaz Sharif directed Chairman Taskforce to ensure that concerned officials should not misuse their powers during the crackdown. Chairman Taskforce gave a detailed briefing about the progress made so far.

Meanwhile, the All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association has claimed that the Punjab CM has intended to form a committee to resolve the issue of gas and power theft by the millers. A press release issued by the APTPMA, said that the CM has formed a four members committee to make inquiry of alleged gas and power theft by SA Baig textile and Ittefaq Engineering. The CM also directed the concerned departments to test the gas and power meters in presence of the factory representatives.

They directives were given by the CM after a meeting with the delegation of APTPMA, who informed him that SNGPL and Lesco officials were harassing the factory owners and forcing them for commission.

The delegation included All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association deputy chairman Mian Aftab, former chairman Sheikh Ayyub and Maqsood Butt and regional chairman Rana Basit.