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April 29, 2017

Murad wants LNG policy, Article 158 on CCI moot agenda


April 29, 2017

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urging the latter to ensure that the proposed national LNG policy and implementation of Article 158 were discussed in the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting scheduled for May 2.

This was the second time Murad wrote to the PM with regards to Article 158 which pertains to distribution of gas and other natural mineral resources among the provinces.

The CM’s letter read, “The 31st meeting of the CCI was scheduled to be held on April 28, 2017, but has now been rescheduled to be held on May 2, 2017. It is requested once again that you kindly direct the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to submit the following cases in the forthcoming meeting of CCI: (i) LNG policy (ii) Implementation of Article 158.”

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources may also be directed to circulate the above two cases to the provinces immediately, so that the matter could be discussed and decided in the upcoming meeting of the CCI, the CM further wrote. 

On March 28, the Sindh chief minister had written a letter to the prime minister asking him to implement Article 158 of the Constitution in letter and spirit by preventing the diversion of natural gas from Sindh to “politically-selected areas”.

At a press conference held a week before writing the letter, and later during the provincial assembly session on March 26, Murad had said he would write to the top federal authorities on the constant denial of Sindh’s rights in terms of the provision of irrigation water and gas.

Speaking on a resolution at the assembly session, he had announced that he would send a requisition to the federal government for convening the next session of the Council of Common Interests on these issues. However, in the letter, the chief minister only raised the issue of the provision of natural gas to its domestic, commercial and industrial consumers. Copies of the letter were sent to the federal petroleum and natural resources minister and the chief ministers Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


Nooriabad power plant launch

Presiding over a meeting held to review the work of Sindh Nooriabad Power Company (SNPC) and the Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company (ST&DC), Murad claimed that the Sindh government was set to launch the Nooriabad 100 MW power plant.

The chief minister congratulating his team on the success directed them to ensure the launch ceremony of the project was held before the month of Ramzan.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif, SNPC Director Khursheed Jamali, STDC CEO Rehan Hashmi, SNPC Project Director Syed Arif Ali and Najammul Hassan and GM Tech Tariq Saeed. The CM was told that the power plant has been tested and is working properly. The testing would, however, continue for a few more days.

Briefing him over the transmission line laid from Nooriabad to Karachi, the CM was told that 99.9 percent of the work had been completed. Only two towers, one at Gadap and the other at Karachi motorway were under construction. Overjoyed with the progress, Murad said the project’s near completion was a cause for jubilance.

Taking Sindh government’s critics to task, the CM said the people would often say that the SNPC and the STDC were dormant companies and would fail to deliver. “Today both the companies have produced results for the government and for the people of Sindh and Pakistan,” he said.

He thanked the leadership of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party for supporting him and entrusting him with the launch of the power project. Murad added that the solution of national energy crises lies in Sindh. “Sindh can make the entire country self-sufficient in the energy sector if the federal government extends its complete support.”

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