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Energy crisis and fuel policy

March 25, 2012

ACCORDING to reports, the petroleum policy 2012 has been formulated and is now going through approval by stakeholders and other processes before it is made public early April if not towards the end of March.

Such a policy being framed on a yearly basis should, in fact, be ready in all respects and announced either in December of the outgoing year or in January of the coming year.

It should be done to give all interested parties ample time to go through its provisions and submit their proposals for petrol and gas exploration in Pakistan according to their guidelines provided therein.

Almost, the first quarter of the calendar year 2012 has elapsed and there are no signs of the petroleum policy yet.

Earlier this month it was reported that the policy would be announced in a week to 10 days. Just a couple of days ago the federal petroleum and natural resources minister was quoted by the media as saying that the policy would be finalised after the approval by the provincial governments in about a fortnight’s time now.

Such delays should invariably be avoided in future in order to make it really a yearly affair so that new explorations of petrol and gas could be undertaken at the earliest. Petrol, diesel and CNG consumption is rapidly increasing and so is the POL import bill as not much oil products are being produced within the country. Shortage of POL products somehow leads to frequent increases in their prices as more and more petrol and diesel are to be imported for meeting ever-growing domestic requirements.

This brings up the question of a fuel policy which perhaps is not in existence and none has ever been formulated. The ministry of petroleum and natural resources should take up the matter of framing the fuel policy on a priority basis.

Such a fuel policy should provide guidelines to the petrol, diesel and CNG consumers as how to consume minimum of these products in their vehicles. It should advise consumers how they can go for innovative technological equipment which helps in giving them maximum travelling with less consumption and saving fuel up to 25 per cent and purchasing vehicles which consume less fuel with better travelling.

Recently a Lahore-based concern submitted comprehensive proposals and suggestions to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry regarding fuel saving measures and also providing details about some equipment which, according to the manufacturers and the suppliers, gives up to 25 per cent in fuel saving without compromising on travelling distances.

The ministry could well utilise such proposals and suggestions and incorporate the same in the fuel policy if this is going to be framed shortly. Such a fuel policy is urgently needed.