ISLAMABAD: The government had bad news for the CNG industry and its consumers in the Senate on Friday, as the adviser on petroleum and natural resources announced doing away with the industry in phases during the next two years.
During the question hour, Adviser on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain informed the House that the CNG policy was wrong and the government would get rid of the CNG industry in a few years.
Many questions were deferred because of the absence of ministers concerned and this enraged senators who called for their presence in the House. To a question by Syeda Sughra Imam, Dr Asim said that efforts to resolve the circular debt issue were on and in this connection the Ministry of Water and Power had submitted a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee, proposing the partial resolution of the power sector circular debt by issuance of term finance certificates (TFCs).
Dr Asim said the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) would subscribe to the TFC to be floated by Pepco or the Power Holding (Private) Limited (PHPL) for Rs82 billion.
The adviser explained that as of April 30 this year, the cut-off date for this transaction, total receivables of OGDCL from oil refineries and other firms, were Rs144 billion. He noted that payables by Pepco to IPPs and gas marketing companies were Rs136.3 billion. Likewise, Hubco and Kapco had to pay Rs117 billion to PSO for supply of furnace oil while the PSO owed Rs83 billion to various oil refineries.
The adviser said it would be a paper transaction and the entire proceeds of TFCs would be used to pay claims of Hubco, Kapco and SSGCL. In return, Hubco and Kapco would pay their liabilities towards PSO. After receiving money from Hubco and Kapco, PSO would settle its liabilities towards oil refineries and oil refineries would settle claims of OGDCL. He said that the SSGCL, SNGPL, UPPL and FKPCL would also use the proceeds received to partly settle overdue claims of OGDCL.
About Reko Diq deposits, Dr Asim said the matter was taken to the international court of arbitration by the TCC. On this, Leader of Opposition Muhammad Ishaq Dar proposed that the government refer the issue to the Council of Common Interests.
To a question by Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, the adviser said the occurrences and showings of gold and silver had been reported from various parts of Pakistan, including Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said the reserves of these occurrences and showings had not been confirmed, except for the Saindak and Reko Diq deposits in Chagai. The Saindak Copper-Gold Project was the only project, which was producing gold and silver as a by-product in a nominal quantity, he added.
The adviser said gold reserves were estimated to be 1,275.75 tons at Reko Diq and 63.50 tons at Saindak Project. Likewise, he said, silver deposits at Reko Diq were not qualified while those at Saindak were projected to be 74,707 tons.