LAHORE: Federal Minister for Petroleum, Dr Asim Hussain Monday warned the nation of acute shortage of natural gas in the upcoming winter and terming the CNG stations a hurdle in economic progress, said that they will be phased out.
Addressing a press conference, Dr Asim said industries and fertilizer manufacturing units were facing a gas supply shortage due to the presence of CNG stations.
In the first phase, CNG stations older than 15 years will be closed down while a ban is being imposed on filling of CNG in cars of over 1000 cc engines.
APP adds: Dr Asim Hussain affirmed on Monday that law would take its course against gas pilferers regardless of their political affiliations.
"We are committed to seal all sources of gas theft and bring defaulters to book," he added.
He said the prevalent gas crisis would continue to persist for another next two years as they were looking for new avenues to meet the local demand.
He said, owing to gas management system they had succeeded in bringing significant improvement in flow of gas system. He said, negotiations to import LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) from Qatar is underway and project would be materialised only after noc from the Economic Coordination Committee.
Answering a question regarding gas from Iran, the Advisor said, Iranian gas pipeline was still 100 kilometre away from Pakistani border for which 2,500 million dollars were required while the government had arranged a big portion out of the amount required for the project.
He said, the government was pursuing a policy to snub reckless use of CNG and for this it was reducing CNG consumption in a phased manner.
He said, though the government had put strict ban on installation of new CNG stations but on the other its demand had increased manifold.
He said, wastage of CNG in public transport was adversely affecting country's economy and the industry as well.
The Advisor foretold a questioner that there would be a dearth of around 100mmcf gas in upcoming winter season saying the government on its part was contemplating to introduce LPG system in the country. Under the system, he said, LPG would have to be imported as according to him it was the quickest source to get gas to meet the local demand.
About gas generators, Dr Asim said, a policy was being devised under which every user of 500 KW generator would have to pay 25per cent extra in its gas bill.