ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s federal government’s campaign to check the annual gas and power theft of Rs150-200bn is getting a cold shoulder in Sindh and Baluchistan because of the indifference or incompetence of the respective provincial governments, officials say.
Partly because of the same reason and also to offer a special concession to the people of Baluchistan, the federal government is preparing to introduce flat rates for natural gas users in Baluchistan.
Official sources confided to the News that the introduction of flat rates for gas consumers in Baluchistan would also help improve the recoveries as in the present system, a large number of gas consumers in the province did not pay their bills.
A flat rate, also known as a flat fee or a linear rate, refers to a pricing structure that charges a single fixed fee for a service, regardless of usage.
Meanwhile, the federal government’s drive to check power and gas theft has though received considerable response from the Punjab and KP governments but not much interest has been shown to push this drive in Sindh and Baluchistan.
The sources said that the Sindh government, in particular, was showing its indifference and had not yet shown any sign of seriousness to nab the gas and power thieves. The Baluchistan government is, however, said to be facing some administrative deficiencies and is unable to go for an all-out drive against power and gas thieves.
No less than Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself admitted in his recent televised speech to the nation that such was the state of affairs that from Rs150 to Rs200bn worth of gas and electricity was stolen.
In the recent meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CII), which was presided over by the prime minister and attended by all the provincial chief ministers, the decision of taking on the power and gas thieves was taken. internews