Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday warned of an impending gas crisis in the country, saying the resource was depleting fast and “Pakistan will have no gas in years to come.”
Addressing a post-cabinet meeting press conference, the minister raised alarm over gas going scarce in the country and said it was depleting by 9 per cent every year for the last two years.
“Gas is available in big cities to 23 percent people at subsidised rates and its burden is being borne by 78pc people in other parts of the country who rely on LPG, coal and other means,” the minister said.
Chaudhry stressed that people getting gas at cheaper rates in big cities should now change their habits. “This trend will not continue for long anymore”.
He said the government would have to restructure its gas system to ensure to equal supply to everyone.
The minister said an uninterrupted supply of gas to industries also resulted in sizable urea production.
He also informed that a Sugar Sector Reform Committee report was being released today containing several proposals, including its deregulation, to minimise the government’s role in price-fixing. “The report will now be available for public debate before any final decision is taken,” he added.
The minister also told the presser that the State Bank of Pakistan had sought a six-year extension for the replacement of currency notes of Rs10, 50, 100 and 1000, however, the cabinet had granted only a 12-month extension.
“Those who want to get currency notes changed should get it done in a year,” he added.
Apprising of the government’s measures to deal with the Gwadar protest, Chaudhry said the cabinet had nominated two federal ministers, Asad Umar and Zubaida Jalal, who will visit the port city on behalf of the premier and try to resolve the matter.
“They will talk to the protesters as the prime minister has already taken notice and ordered resolution of the issue,” he said.