PESHAWAR: The industrialists have expressed serious concerns over shortage in supply of natural gas to industrial estates in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and described gas shortage as sheer negligence on part of federal government.
Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, a former senator of Awami National Party, in a statement here on Monday criticised the government and ministry of petroleum for delaying the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the international market despite the increasing gas shortage in the country.
Mr Bilour, who is also a leader of Businessman Forum Pakistan, alleged that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government was least bothered to improve industries in the country. He said that government was deliberately creating gas shortage in the country and inflicting colossal financial losses to national exchequer.
He claimed that the purchase of LNG was being used as a political tool. He said that Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nadeem Babar misguided people by saying that the government purchased LNG from October 2020 till February 2021 and there was no need to worry about it.
Mr Bilour said that Prime Minister Imran Khan, Nadeem Babar and the relevant officials were responsible for the shortage and high price of gas for industrial sector in the country. He said that Mr Babar should admit his incompetence and resign from his office.
He said that many countries had piled up stock of LNG because of coronavirus pandemic and its increasing demand in the winter. He said that Pakistan was yet to open tenders for purchase of LNG. He added that government was going to purchase LGN at 20 per cent higher price.
Bilour alleged that the government was trying to sabotage the 18th Amendment. He alleged that government wanted to determine prices of gas on an equitable basis around the country to usurp the constitutional rights of the provinces that were self-sufficient in gas production. He added that the move was also violation of the Article 158 of Constitution.
He said that instead of doing politics on LNG, the prime minister should hold accountable the relevant people.
Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2020