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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) claimed that people would face gas crisis in the forthcoming winter season as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has failed to procure eight Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) cargoes.

Highlighting the upcoming gas load-shedding, Vice President PPP Senator Sherry Rehman claimed that it seems like there is no respite for Pakistan in sight as yet again Pakistan will be hit by a gas crisis in the forthcoming winter season.

She said that the PTI-led government has failed to procure 8 LNG cargoes, so now there will be 9 cargoes instead of 12 for the two months of December and January.

The PPP vice president said that the demand goes up to 5 bcfd in winter but now we will only have 3.7 bcfd for the months of December and January due to the government's failure in purchasing eight LNG cargoes.

"This will only intensify the gas crisis in the country. Gas is a staple energy source used all over Pakistan by households to cook, industries to run, and wheels to turn. They will all suffer now due to the incompetence of the government and in turn further exacerbate the economic crisis we are currently finding ourselves in," she added.

Rehman said, "It is shocking how this government has increased gas prices by more than 350 percent in three years. The purchasing power of our people is quite low compared to the region. Our people are struggling with inflation, unemployment. Why has this government not figured out the LNG procurement procedure and its immense economic importance in the last three years of their tenure? There must be an urgent inquiry into this matter".

"It was only last in December last year when the government created a severe gas crisis due to the delay in LNG import which caused us a loss of Rs122 billion. People are tired of paying for the incompetence of this government. We all know that the demand is always high in winter then why are arrangements not made on time?" she questioned.

Discussing the energy sector crisis, Rehman said, "According to the World Energy Council, Pakistan imports a third of its energy resources and ranks at 99 out of 110 in energy security. While on the other hand, our circular debt has increased by over 2,000 percent to Rs2.280 trillion in FY 2020-21. This is a matter of serious concern but the government is more concerned with focusing on anti-opposition campaigns."

"What we are seeing is complete incompetence. There has been a Rs9/L increase in the prices of petrol in the last 30 days and yet the relevant minister was nowhere to be found in parliament when the opposition demanded a response. The government needs to explain the serial policy failures that are costing Pakistan.

The government seems to be running the country on a dangerous level of ad hocism, arbitrary decisions and media stunts," concluded PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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