The joint sitting of the parliament on Monday passed the Gas (Theft Control and Recovery) Bill, 2014 envisaging up to 10-year imprisonment and Rs one million fine for gas theft with certain amendments proposed by treasury benches while rejecting maximum amendments of the opposition lawmakers.
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi piloted the Gas Theft Control and Recovery Bill 2014 in the House.
The amendments were proposed by minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Abbasi on behalf of the treasury benches while, Dr Arif Alvi, Shireen Mazari, Sher Akbar, Naeema Kiswar, Sahibzada Tariullah and others on behalf of the opposition.
Under the bill, gas utility courts would be set up at district level to try offences punishable under the law.
The gas utility courts and the gas utility companies will be entitled to seek services and assistance of police or security forces for the purpose.
According to the bill, domestic consumers who are found guilty of tampering the meters or performing any other act to steal gas would be punished up to six months of imprisonment and a fine up to Rs 100,000.
The industrial or commercial consumers on gas meter tampering or gas theft would be punished with up to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fine up to Rs five million.
For damaging and destructing the transmission or transportation line to disrupt the supply of gas, a sentence of up to 14 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs one million could be awarded under the bill.
The corporate bodies, which commit any offence would be punishable with a fine up to Rs five million and in case of continuing default a daily fine up to Rs 100,000.
Earlier, Dr Babar Awan said the bill has some lacunas which need to be rectified.
The speaker said the bill was passed by Senate and they could not change its content. However, he said later correction could be made in it.
Later, the joint sitting of the parliament was adjourned to meet at 11:30am on Tuesday.