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No gas for CNG sector in Punjab for three months

The Com-pressed Natural Gas (CNG) outlets in Punjab will remain closed for three months from November 2013 to January 2014 due to serious gas shortage, said Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources. Talking to a group of journalists here on Tuesday, the minister stated that management's top priority was domestic and power sector and in the winters there would be no gas for CNG stations in Punjab from November to end of January 2014.

When the minister was asked about continuous gas supply to the CNG outlets in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) which also falls under the jurisdiction of Sui-Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), he said the management had decided to stop gas supply to the CNG sector in Punjab, where more than 60 percent of the total CNG stations were operating. Pakistan from past six years is facing serious energy crisis and the government is trying to resolve the energy crisis through power loadshedding as well as gas load-management plan.

The country at present faces 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD) gas shortage against total 6.5 BCFD managed demand of gas, as only 4.3 BCFD gas is available due to which the government is providing three-day gas supply to CNG sector weekly and four-day to industrial sector, while fertiliser plants on the system of SNGPL are operating only 25 percent of their capacity. The government has imposed Gas Infrastructure Development Surcharge (GIDS) on all the gas consumers to finance the construction of imported gas projects like IP, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline projects and other energy projects.

The government has so far collected over Rs 50 billion from GIDS, which would be utilised for construction of the IP gas pipeline and/or other energy projects. According to the GIDS Act, the collected Cess would be utilised for or in connection with infrastructure development of the IP project, Tapi Pipeline Project, LNG and other projects, or for price equalisation of other imported alternative fuels including Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013


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