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Saturday July 13, 2024

SIFC may take up pending merit order for gas allocation

Under the new merit order, the power and fertilizer sectors would be second on the new priority list

By Khalid Mustafa
June 26, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs the 10th Apex Committee meeting of the Special Investment and Facilitation Council (SIFC) In Islamabad on May 25, 2024. — PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs the 10th Apex Committee meeting of the Special Investment and Facilitation Council (SIFC) In Islamabad on May 25, 2024. — PID

ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division has not gained approval for the new gas merit order allocation from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) despite passage of four months and the upcoming meeting of the SIFC Executive Committee is likely to take up this issue.

“The Apex Committee of the SIFC, headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and attended by the chief of army staff, four chief ministers and main federal ministers in February 2024, approved a change in the gas merit order for gas allocation with domestic, commercial including roti tandoor and industry for processing purposes with priority at the top, but after a lapse of four months, the Petroleum Division did nothing on this front and failed to put up a summary before the ECC for approval in light of the decision taken by Apex Committee,” senior officials of the Energy Ministry told The News. The 9th meeting of the Apex Committee on February 18, 2024 approved the new merit order for gas allocation aiming to stimulate economic and industrial activities with a certain momentum and maintain it for the whole year. The same meeting had done away with the difference between export and non-export industries and equalized them with equal gas tariffs. Under the new merit order, the power and fertilizer sectors would be second on the new priority list and industry for captive power plants at third, cement at fourth, and CNG at fifth. It has been a longstanding demand of the industrial sector to put it on the top of the gas priority allocation list which the SIFC Apex Committee approved in the February 2024 meeting. The Petroleum Division was to get the decision of the Apex Committee approved by the ECC but there is no progress to this effect even after a lapse of four months. At present the domestic and commercial sectors are at the top of the gas merit list with the power and export sectors standing at the second, general industry and captive power at third, cement at fourth and CNG at the last about gas allocation.