LAHORE – The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Thursday appreciated the federal cabinet for accepting the LCCI longstanding demand by granting approval to Electricity Theft (Amendment) Bill 2012 and declaring power theft a non-bailable offence with increase in penalties and imprisonment.

In a press statement issued here, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the electricity pilferage has become a major cause of an acute electricity shortage and this bill approved by the federal cabinet will help decrease the incidence of power theft.

He said that the line losses in Peshawar are 35%, in Hyderabad 34%, Quetta 18%, Lahore 13%, Gujranwala 12%, Faisalabad 11% and Islamabad 10% and it is hoped that these line losses would register a considerable cut.

The LCCI President said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has since long been calling for stringent measures to curb this menace to ensure availability of electricity. But despite all its requests, the line losses kept on registering an upward trend.

He said that it would have been better if this law was approved a few years ago. He however, stressed the need for implementation of Electricity Theft (Amendment) Bill 2012 in letter and spirit for the sake of trade, industry and economy.