Corruption mafia thrives, as consumers punished for gas losses

Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said gas officials continue to misguide government and masses on the issue of increasing theft.

Gas companies have been overtaken by mafia which have made a policy to blame others while remaining over the corruption in the utilities, it said.

A senior gas official who has enjoyed record extensions in violation of Supreme Court orders recently told a standing committee of the National Assembly that gas worth Rs 10 billion is being stolen in Kohat and Karak districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in which local administration is involved.

The official divulged half-truth as he preferred not to mention gas being stolen worth Rs 30 billion in other provinces, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Moreover, gas officials remained silent over the misuse of national resource by the captive power mafia which is enough to know about their real intentions.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that theft is not possible without consent of gas officials and that a number of industrialists continue to steal gas to maximise their profits.

The Gas Theft and Recovery Ordinance 2014 issued on January 24 has done nothing to deter dishonest officials which compelled to increase gas tariff up to 67 percent to recover losses from masses.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that gas theft benefits officials and thieves; compromises national output, hurt masses, industry, agriculture and job situation but masses are penalised for it which is illegal.