Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
A legislative body of Upper House of parliament on Tuesday was informed that If the government grants permission to private sector to import natural gas in any form, the general transport fare may be reduced to 53 percent.
If the going situation of natural gas shortage continue, big industrial units would be shut down and go into bankruptcy, said Chairman CNG Association Ghias Paracha while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum, which held today while Senator Muhammad Abdul Qadir was on chair. He said that details of line losses should also be sought from OGRA. If the exporters get supply of gas, then there can be significant improvement in exports.
Other private sector experts like Muhammad Javed of Karachi Chamber, Zubair Motiwala and Rehman Javed, representatives of Small Industries briefed the Standing Committee in detail about the problems faced by the industry with regard to CNG.
Chairman CNG Association Ghias Paracha said that CNG stations in Punjab have been closed since December 7 due to shortage of Natural Gas. In 2017, OGRA issued a license to the private sector to solicit gas from its own resources, which was later revoked.
The Committee members expressed their displeasure over the non-attendance of the committee meeting by the Minister of Petroleum and the Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum. The Chairman Committee said that the people of the concerned sectors which are dependent on gas and petroleum products have been invited so that they can apprise the committee of the problems faced by them.
The circular debt of electricity and gas in the country has increased exponentially and the two sectors are interconnected. Senator Taj Haider said that petrol has become so expensive that people have parked their vehicles. About 30% of gas pipelines can be improved by taking effective measures to eliminate leakage.
Well known businessman Zubair Motiwala also briefed the standing committee about the problems of the industry, online from Karachi and said that there should be international tendering regarding gas. There should be medium and long term planning. We should strive for discovery of new gas reserves. Rehman Javed, a representative of small industries, said that small industry in the country was heading for disaster due to gas shortage. We should be allowed to generate and use electricity ourselves. Additional Secretary Mibistry of Petroleum said that Gas import was processed four times but neither party could meet the legal requirements.