ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel, on Thursday, asked the Petroleum Division to provide gas sale and purchase agreements between the federal government and the gas producing provinces.

Member Committee Shamim said that areas in Khyber Paktunkhwa and Balochistan were facing an acute shortage of gas which was a violation of 18 constitutional amendments and the Constitution of Pakistan.

Director General (Gas) Petroleum Division apprised the committee members that the federal government was purchasing in between $3 per mmbtu from Sui Gas field, $2.5 per mmbtu from Zamzama, and around $5.5 per mmbtu from different fields in KP.

An official of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) said that the UFG in Balochistan during winter increased manifold and caused negative impact on the company’s revenue. “The winter gas bills in Balochistan, when temperature goes down to minus, cross the highest slab of Rs1,460 per mmbtu which is not affordable for poor residents,” the official said.

Winter season: domestic consumers bracing for more gas outages

He said the percentage of UFG of 0.3 million gas consumers in Balochistan is 25 bcf annually, which is the highest out of 52 bcf UFG total volume of SSGC.

Regarding gas supply to KP, the official of the Petroleum Division said that 190 mmcfd was indigenous production of the province and 270 mmcfd was the demand. To meet the demand CNG sector was suspended supply but restored it from February 1, he added.

Deliberating upon the issue of gas theft from the main pipeline, especially in Sindh, the Committee was informed that a total of 385 cases were registered against all types of pipeline crimes/violations, 26 convictions were secured and 56 accused were fined millions of rupees.

To date, there has been no conviction against any PARCO staff. Discussing gas loadshedding in Sindh, the committee took strict notice of the fact that numerous industries were involved in theft by installing large compressors to divert gas supply towards them. The Committee demanded details of companies and action against those.

Gas loadshedding in Balochistan and non-establishment of LPG stations in Panjgor, the committee raised concerns regarding the usurpation of rights of smaller provinces and asserted that the issue must be addressed with sincerity to remove grievances.

The matter of the closure of gas supply to gas stations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was taken up as well and the Committee was informed that this was done to ensure gas supply to domestic consumers. Members recommended that the matter must be taken up with the prime minister.

Discussing slab rate for Balochistan, Chairman Committee Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir stressed the need to ensure that the people must be facilitated and slab rates are not to be applied to bills in Balochistan in the three severe cold weather months as they contend with harsh weather during the winter months. He said that all-out efforts must be made to protect the poor from the increase in gas rates as recommended by the IMF.

Hearing out the stakeholders on the issue of PSO’s reluctance to charter PNSC Fleet for POL, Chairman Committee Senator Qadir stressed that in view of the current financial crisis the country faces, it is essential that preference be given to local companies. This, he added, would ensure the drainage of the dollar and the growth of local businesses and enterprises.

He recommended the PSO to charter PNSC fleet for the import of high-speed diesel and Mogas products in Pakistan. “Such a move will be helpful in preserving around $200 million per year as the mode of payment to PNSC will be made in local currency,” he added. Chairman PNSC also assured PSO of quality service with competitive rates.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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