ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to prepare a winter plan to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to domestic consumers.
The prime minister also directed the petroleum ministry to work in close coordination with the Ministry of Water and Power and ensure that surplus fuel was provided to thermal power plants.
He issued the directives during a briefing by the ministry of petroleum and natural resources, which he visited this afternoon.
The prime minister is visiting various ministries and government departments as part of his plan to review their performance.
Prime Minister Ashraf said the people of Pakistan expected public utilities to provide them reliable, affordable and uninterrupted services.
He stressed that the ministry of petroleum and natural resources as well as the ministry of water and power should endeavour to improve service delivery and come up to the expectations of the people.
The prime minister said that he was fully aware of the difficulties and challenges being faced by various ministries and believed that overcoming these would reflect into their performance.
Ashraf said as winter sets in, the demand for gas would increase. It is, therefore, imperative that foolproof arrangements be put in place to ensure that supply of gas to domestic consumers remains unaffected, he added.
The prime minister also directed the ministry to sensitize the people about the efforts being made by it to ensure provision of uninterrupted gas to domestic users.
He said that he was happy to learn that the Petroleum Policy 2012 for exploration and production was well received by investors, which augured well for the future of oil and gas sector in the country.
The prime minister was told that 1.6 million consumers were given gas connections at a cost of Rs10.41 billion while 879 kms of transmission lines and 39707 kms of distribution and service lines were added to the gas network with an investment of Rs 61.164 billion during the last four and a half years of the present government.
The prime minister was also told that as a result of efforts being made by the present government, 750 MMCFD gas was likely to be added in the system by June 2013 making an increase of 20 per cent.
The prime minister was informed that the ministry had prepared the National Mineral Policy 2012 to meet the challenges of large scale mining and enhance international competitiveness.
The prime minister was also briefed about the plans of the ministry to augment gas supplies in the country. These include Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) and import of LNG and LPG.
The prime minister was told that the country imported oil to the tune of 5 billion dollars which constituted 36 per cent of the overall import bill of the country. Besides, the value of the gas produced in the country is 4.3 billion dollars and oil produced in the country is 2.4 billion dollars.
The prime minister appreciated the efforts of the ministry for increasing the production of oil and gas in the country and expressed the hope that the ministry's efforts would lead towards energy security in the country.
The prime minister also approved a special grant of Rs 200 million for the Petroleum House being constructed in Islamabad.
Those, who attended the meeting, included Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and other senior officials.