Ban on new gas connections to continue till improvement in system: Musadik

Ijaz Kakakhel

The Upper House of parliament on Tuesday was informed that ban on expansion in the domestic gas connection is aimed at improving gas supplies and removal of the pricing distortion.

Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik expressed these views while responding to a question in the House adding that the government is taking various steps to overcome the shortage of gas across the country. He said formulation of policy for the exploration of solid gas is in final stage and after implementation of the policy, we will be able to maintain a smooth supply of gas to domestic consumers.

The minister said that new policies regarding gas production would be brought in the next two weeks, adding, the results of these policies could be seen in the next four years. To a question, he said that the total indigenous production of natural gas and volume with a percentage share of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last three years was 11.09 MMCF in 2019-20, 12.27 MMCF in 2020-21 and 12.00 MMCF in 2021-22.

Furthermore, he said that this ban was imposed by the previous government and added it even changed the OGRA rules. He said that as per the rules, gas was provided to those provinces where it is being produced. It is in the “deep interest of the country” to continue the ban on gas connections till the end of its shortage, he added.

Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation Mian Raza Rabbani urged the government to declare 2023 as the Golden Jubilee Year of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan.

Speaking on the floor of the Upper House of the Parliament the PPP leader said “The Constitution, passed on April 10, 1973, was authenticated on April 12 and promulgated on August 14 [of the same year.] So, this is the Golden Jubilee Year.”

Rabbani said in that regard he had written a letter to the prime minister requesting to dedicate the whole current year to ‘the Constitution of 1973’, besides arranging seminars and events across the country to create awareness about the Constitution.

He said the PPPP had already ‘accepted’ 2023 as ‘the Constitution Year,’ and hoped that the government would also consider it in the same way.