Islamabad (6th January 2022): Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir here at the Parliament House on Thursday.
Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir remarked that gas shortage has added to the miseries of the people and collaborated efforts are required to be made to provide relief. He called upon all the stakeholders to provide input in enhancing production and take effective measures against illegal connections and theft.
At the start of the meeting, Senator Mohsin Aziz raised the issue of disconnection of gas supply to Textile Mills in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa without any prior notice. He said that this step of SNGPL is in violation of Article 158 of constitution. Senator Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti informed the Committee that up till now there is no gas in Sui. Senator Afnan Ullah Khan said that according to Bloomberg report, Pakistan exports will decline due to non-availability of gas to Industrial sectors. In reply to raised issue, Secretary Petroleum said that owing to decrease in domestic production and increase in demand government has to shut down supply. It was Government Policy to cut off gas supply to captive power generation due to circular debt of 1.3 trillion rupees. But as of current situation, ministry gave directives that every textile mills can get gas supply after efficiency audit.
Chairman Committee inquired the Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar that whether industries can import the gas by itself. In reply to this, Minister said that PLL gave tender notice last month but unfortunately not a single industry come forward. The reason is that why would industries import gas that cost them 40$ instead of Government given gas that only cost 8 or 9 USD, he added. Government is also planning to give third parties access to terminals, he further added.
Senator Afnan Ullah Khan asked the Minister about the present status of CNG sector in the country. Minister informed that summary has been prepared to give third part access to CNG Association to import LNG for itself, which will be sent to Cabinet for approval in next coming weeks and association is very satisfied about this initiative.
Discussing details of contract of PLL with SNGPL for supply of LNG, officials apprised the Committee that 90pc of this agreement has been finalized and this will be concluded in one month. Officials of SNGPL and SSGC also briefed the Committee about decrease in line loses under UFG 3 year reduction plan. We decreased the line loses from 12pc to single digit in this period and this gives benefit to Government of around 1 Billion rupees, officials said. Chairman Committee praised the efforts of SNGPL and SSGC in this regard and directed the officials to work hard to get rid of this problem once and for all.
The Committee was astonished to know that there were more than seven hundred thousand illegal gas connections in Karachi only. The SSGC informed that a number of times, the concerned quarters were informed and the matter has been taken up at appropriate level. Chairman of the Committee said that this is a serious issue and needs to be looked into detail. The committee directed the authorities to take all the stakeholders into confidence and launch a massive operation against the illegal connections. Chairman Committee also highlights the issue of irrational increase in gas bills in winter season owing to change in slab. Chairman Committee directed the officials to rationalize this issue, so that the poor sections of the country can get benefit from gas in winter as well.
The Meeting was attended by Senator Afnan Ullah Khan, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Prince Ahmed Omer Ahmedzai, Senator Atta ur Rehman, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Secretary Petroleum and other officials from SNGPL, SSGC, OGDCL and Former Senator Saleem Saif Ullah Khan as well.