KARACHI: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Thursday assured a delegation of compressed natural gas (CNG) dealers for taking up the issue of pump closures and their proposals relating to smart load management during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Friday.
During a meeting with a four-member delegation of the CNG Association at the Governor House, the governor said all the problems and issues of CNG stakeholders would be resolved on a priority basis.
The CNG dealers had expressed reservations over the lingering gas crisis and handed over a smart load management plan to the Sindh governor.
Meanwhile, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh along with a delegation of Pakistan CNG Dealers Association led by Abdul Sami Khan held a press conference at his office over closure of gas stations.
The provincial energy minister, while lambasting the performance of government’s ministers Hammad Azhar and Aftab Siddiqui, said the federal government was not providing Sindh its due share of gas.
He said the Sindh government has been raising voice at all legal forums but the federal government is not ready to solve the gas crisis despite the fact that the CNG sector needs only 13 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas.
Mr Sheikh said Sindh and Balochistan, which are the main gas producers, have been deprived of gas while it was being supplied to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Constitution gives the first right usage of gas where the gas is produced, but Sindh is engulfed in deep gas shortage, while domestic consumers are also facing problems either non availability of gas or very low pressure, he maintained.
He claimed that no country was ready to give gas to Pakistan while vessels carrying furnace oil more than the requirement were at the outer anchorage of the port seeking storage of fuel oil.
“We need to know who is formulating the ill-conceived policies,” he said urging the government to leave the country and its economy as the government has been continuously failing in fulfilling its promises.
He said he had asked the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to provide data regarding gas production in Sindh, production of gas at various wells in Sindh and supply situation in the two provinces.
Mr Sheikh said the PTI and MQM are not taking up gas crisis issue with the federal government as both the parties were enjoying their powers. He added that the stakeholders in the CNG sector had invested millions of rupees in setting up stations but they were not getting the gas.
He assured the delegation that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has been continuously taking up gas shortage issue in Sindh at every forum.
Abdul Sami Khan said workers of CNG stations are facing deep financial crisis due to closure of stations from December 1, 2021 while their families are in also deep stress.
He said the government had asked the CNG stakeholders to set up gas stations but now all stations were closed.
In a statement, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Mian Nasser Hyatt Magoo said the CNG association in Sindh has gone on strike but the government was not even contacting or listening to their concerns. First, their livelihoods have been jeopardised and now they are being neglected and their voice is not being heard.
He said the failure of the government to provide gas to the industry has caused unbearable losses and the country is losing its momentum of productivity, export orders, employment generation, which will reflect in the country’s growth rate during the current FY22.
He asked the Prime Minster Imran Khan to reprimand the relevant ministries and departments responsible for the gas crisis. Mr Magoo was of the view that this was a conspiracy against the government.
Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2021