ISLAMABAD: The Sub-Committee of Senate’s Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources Monday was told that gas worth Rs 20 million was being stolen in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on a daily basis. “Rs 20 million gas is being stolen daily from the Karak district and all this is happening in connivance with local administration and police,” Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the committee. He said whenever the gas company concerned sever illegal gas connections, they would be restored under the supervision of deputy commissioner and police. Abbasi said that the ministry had taken up the issue and discussed the matter with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in detail but it could not be resolved. The committee meeting, chaired by Fateh Muhammad Muhammad Hassani, expressed astonishment over the illegal activity and summoned KP chief secretary, home secretary, inspector general of police (IG) and Karak deputy commissioner in the next meeting to explain the situation. He assured the ministry that the committee would extend all possible assistance in curbing gas theft, causing billions of rupees loss to national exchequer. The sub-committee also expressed its displeasure over the absence of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) managing director in the meeting and incomplete briefing on the last five-year performance of the company by the officials present. It also observed that compensation amount was not being given to land-affected people of Balochistan by oil and gas companies carrying out exploration activities in different parts of the province. “Elected representatives of 10 union councils, out of total 13 in Kharan district, have complained in writing that the people are not being paid compensation amount on account of land acquisition by the companies,” Fateh Muhammad Muhammad Hassani said. He directed the companies to ensure compensation amount to land owners, saying that all Balochs were patriotic Pakistanis and wanted to see the country developing and flourishing. “Rights of people of Balochistan must be given to them,” he added. The committee convener floated the idea that oil and gas companies should have the permission to hire locals as security guards in the companies. Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) Managing Director of Zahid Mir told the committee that the company had 25 exploration licences and five development and production leases in different areas of the province. Currently, he said, four seismic parties were operating in Balochistan to carry out surveys. He said that local lawmakers and deputy commissioners were taken on board before starting ground work in their respective areas.