LAHORE  - The country has lost over Rs90 billion during the last five years in electricity theft and line losses. The FESCO, GEPCO, LESCO, MEPCO, IESCO, SEPCO, HESCO, PEPCO, and KESCO lost Rs600 million, Rs360 million, Rs2.35 billion, Rs280 million, Rs3.66 billion, Rs7.47 billion, Rs16.17 billion, Rs59 billion and Rs90 lost respectively on account of theft and line losses.

However, the government has announced to control power theft through a presidential Ordinance and the business community has welcomed this presidential Ordinance. They said the new law will help overcome the issue of shortage of electricity as theft was one of the major causes of low recovery against the electricity being consumed. They hoped that the government would adopt a foolproof mechanism to ensure implementation of the new law that would not only weed out corruption from the power supply companies but would also be improving the country’s image in the eyes of foreign businessmen who intend to put their money in various business ventures in Pakistan.

LCCI president Sohail Lashari said that it was a long standing demand of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the government should take stern action against those involved in electricity and gas theft.

 “Since the electricity and gas theft is not possible without connivance of the staff of the concerned departments therefore steps should also be taken to purge the government departments from the black sheep.” “We do hope that only proven pilferers will be taken to task and there would not be an element of harassment in the whole exercise while local chambers of commerce would be taken into the confidence before initiating legal proceedings.”

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry is deadly against electricity, gas theft and other likes therefore disowns the people involved in any such activity but at the same time it is always ready to support and back honest and genuine businessmen. The LCCI office-bearers were of the view that no pressure should be accepted regarding action against the people found involved in power and gas theft. He said that the economy will improve only if the industrial sector gets boom and it was very unfortunate that the national wealth was looted mercilessly in the past and the national institutions were destroyed.