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December 15, 2018

No immediate relief to Sindh from gas suspension

Top Story

December 15, 2018

KARACHI: Though the Federal Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had a busy day in the city on Friday, his presence also didn’t bring out the much-anticipated good news for Karachiites regarding normalization of gas supply as they continue to suffer due to closure of the CNG pumps for the sixth consecutive day on Saturday (today).

Talking to newsmen the federal Petroleum minister said there no immediate relief for people of the province in terms of gas supply. Earlier, the federal minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan also met with the chief minister. The chief minister urged the federal petroleum minister to order resumption of natural gas. The federal minister told the chief minister he would be holding a meeting in the SSGCL office to take final decision.

The Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah said the natural gas closure in Sindh is not only violation of Article 158 of the constitution but it has rendered thousands of industrial and transporters [CNG] workers jobless and caused serious problems for the domestic consumers.

Talking to the federal minister, the chief minister said under the constitution Sindh being the well-head of the natural gas has the precedence over other parts of Pakistan. He said Sindh produces 2,600 to 2,700 mmcfd daily but only gets 1,000 to 1,100 mmcfd. He said the gas shortage has led to closure of the industrial captive power plants in the province. The entire industry is facing gas closure for the last three days,” he said and added the CNG sector is also closed.

The chief minister said that Sindh has no representation in OGRA (Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority) and proposed like rest of the the provinces, Sindh should have one member in the authority. He also proposed an amendment in the Petroleum Concession Agreement (PCA)/Supplemental Agreement. He proposed that the Federal Secretary Petroleum and the provincial Secretary Energy should jointly award the PCA instead of the Federal Secretary Petroleum alone.

He also took up the issue of representation of provinces in the board of PPL, OGDCL, SSGCL and PSO. Murad said the excise duty on crude oil is imposed under Article 161(1)(b)shall not form part of the Federal Consolidated Fund and must be paid to the province where the well-head of oil is located.

The federal minister Ghulam Sarwar assured the chief minister that the provinces would be given due presentation in the federal oil and gas companies.

The meeting agreed that a meeting of the provinces with federal minister of petroleum would be held prior to next CCI meeting so a consensus could be developed to resolve all the issues unanimously

In the meeting, the Chief Minister was assisted by Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh, CM Advisor on Law Murtaza Wahab, Secretary Energy Musadiq Ahmed Khan and Tariq Shah Director Energy. The other delegates were Additional Secretary of the Ministry Dr Tanveer Qureshi, GD Petroleum Concessions Qazi Saleem Siddiqui, DG Gas Shahid Yousaf, DG Oil Jabbar Memon, Mohammad Iqbal DG Mineral. PTI MPA Haleem Adil Shaikh also attended the meeting..

Later, the Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan called on Governor Sindh Imran Ismail at Governor's House today and discussed matters pertaining to the gas supply.

Earlier, the Pakistan Peoples Party ruling in the province on Friday staged a vociferous protest outside the Karachi Press Club to agitate against federal government for its decision to curtail the gas supply to consumers in the province. The provincial ministers addressed the protest demonstration and lashed out at the federal government for subjecting the people to severe miseries. They said these harsh actions would make the PTI further unpopular among the masses. Similar protest demonstrations by the PPP would be held in other district headquarters of the province.

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