Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar has said that export-oriented industries will get uninterrupted gas supply during the winters as lot export orders from other regional and neighbouring countries have been diverted to Pakistan because of better handling of COVID-19.

In a joint press conference with Omer Ayub, the Special Assistant to PM said that Ministry of Petroleum & Gas three months back submitted the winter plan of gas supply to the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE). However, the CCoE asked them to make special arrangement for export-oriented industries and for this purpose we already made a plan and submitted to CCoE for approval. “According to the new plan from December to January, if the gas shortage occurs then supply of gas to CNG sector and non-export industries will be stopped,” he added.

He termed the allegation of former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s that Rs 1 trillion circular debt as baseless. He said circular debt in gas sector is Rs 300 billion and PML-N government was responsible for it because they didn’t raise the prices of gas.

Nadeem Babar said that previous government launched the two LNG terminals but they didn’t build gas storage capacity with the terminals. He said the government is building gas storage capacities with the North-South gas pipeline. He said the government will also not give any capacity charges to any new entrant who wants to build LNG terminal. He said the increase in the margin of oil marketing companies and dealers was given as per law.

Minister for Power Omar Ayub said that the PML-N government before the end of their tenure placed landmines for PTI government. He said without improving the transmission and distribution system they set-up expensive power plants, on which government forced to pay heavy capacity charges without utilizing the electricity. “Alone on Nandipur power project Ministry of Power incurred loss of Rs 80 billion because the PML-N used furnace oil for electricity generation but paid nothing to PSO,” he said.

He said the government renegotiating the agreements with independent power producers to find a workable solution. He said that government by investing Rs 47 billion enhanced the capacity of transmission and distribution by 4275 MW. “In summer we provided over 24000 MW of electricity in peak hours which is the highest in country’s history” he added.  

He said because of COVID the government could not implement on the plan of IMF. He said alone in power sector a relief of Rs 100 billion was given to domestic, commercial and industrial consumers.  

Hamza Habib is a senior journalist and former editor of correspondent.pk who has previously worked for leading newspapers and TV networks of the country. He mainly writes on the economy and political issues.


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