LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the big fish involved in power and gas theft will not be spared as pilferage of national resources is a blatant crime.

He directed the authorities to continue campaign against power and gas thieves without succumbing to the pressure from any side and added, the area of campaign should be extended to 36 districts of the province and a list of corrupt officers and staff involved in gas and electricity theft be presented to him within 48 hours.

He was presiding over a meeting of the taskforce on power and gas theft, here Tuesday. The CM said that gas and power theft is like cancer which must be treated at any cost. He held the gas and power thieves responsible for load-shedding and the heavy financial burden on the common man in the form of utility bills. He said that gas and power theft is not possible without connivance of officers and staff of the concerned departments, therefore intelligence agencies should play their due role in identifying such elements so that stern action could be taken against them without any discrimination.

The Chief Minster said that the officials involved in theft of gas and electricity have no right to stay in service and must be removed. He also issued instructions for setting up a technical committee headed by expert engineers for case-to-case review of tempered meters of gas and electricity.