KARACHI: The Federal Petroleum Minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, has said the crisis of natural gas supply didn’t surface in the country on its own rather the crisis was artificially created.
The petroleum minister stated this while addressing a press conference jointly with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail here on Saturday. The CNG stations in the province resumed functioning later in the evening from 8 pm after a shutdown of almost six days (CNG stations were shut down on Monday).
Sarwar said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan took serious action over the gas crisis following which he dashed to Karachi to hold talks with the stakeholders including the Sui Southern Gas Company, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, and CNG associations to get to the bottom of the issue. Khan said he would return to Islamabad after ensuring the CNG stations in Karachi resume functioning. He said the decision to reopen the CNG stations was taken after the consultations with the concerned authorities. The federal minister said in Islamabad, he would brief the prime minister about the facts of the gas crisis. “The CNG crisis in Sindh was created as it didn’t surface on its own,” he said. He said the prime minister has constituted a committee to ascertain facts about the gas crisis. He said the provision of gas supply to the domestic sector is the foremost responsibility of the government as there is no gas load shedding in the country.
Sarwar said the gas supply to the captive power plants of the industries would be restored by 50 per cent during the three months of winter. He said efforts would be made to provide uninterrupted gas supply to the industries of Sindh. The federal minister said he would ensure that from now onwards there is a minimal shutdown of the CNG supply in Sindh. He said the federal government would fully abide by the Article-158 of the Constitution (related to gas usage rights of the provinces).
He said the oil refineries in the country too had reduced their production by 67 per cent. He said the Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas is being supplied to the industries of Punjab. He said the government would give due relief and support to the CNG sector and the export related industries. Khan said he held a meeting with the Sindh chief minister to resolve the issues pending with the provincial government on the directives of prime minister. He said the Sindh government is under obligation to resolve the issues of Karachi as the provincial administration should be more focussed towards the issue.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on the occasion, said the Federal Petroleum minister held important meetings with the stakeholders and authorities to amicably resolve the suspension of gas supply. He said an agreement was reached with the CNG associations to resolve the gas crisis.
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