ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday said that the government realizes the importance of industrial sector and would take possible steps to accomplish gas demands of the sector.
Addressing the participants of the function arranged by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), the minister said “We know the importance of industrial sector and would take all possible steps to meet the energy requirement of the sector that would help to generate more job opportunities and eradicate poverty from the country. “
However, the Minister said gas shortage would be overcome with the addition of more gas in the system.
“To over come shortage of gas would take some time as deficiency of it cannot be vanquished in a short time.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said issue of low pressure to industrial sector would be addressed.
He said the government in recently has auctioned 50 blocks to various companies for the exploration of oil and gas. Out of which 21 blocks falls in Balochistan, 15 in Punjab, 6 in Sindh and 8 blocks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
He said entrepreneurs are the engine of growth and no economy could develop without promotion of business and industry.
“We are working to ensure efficient utilization of gas to improve its maximum availability. He said with the improvement in availability of gas, ban on new connections will go.
About Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline, he said, work on the pipeline was not possible because it falls under the sanctions imposed by international community.
He said that the government was committed to complete Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline as it was the requirement of the country to overcome the energy crisis.
“It was the ground reality that the work on the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project is not possible because of the sanctions imposed by the international community. Iran had also acknowledged the reality,” he added.
The Minister said Pakistan had also asked Iran that completion of project should be linked with the lifting of sections. Abbasi said that if the sanctions lifted by the international community the project would be completed within 30 months.
He said international companies had also refused to work on the project. He further informed the participants that the exploration policy was approved in 2007,2009 and 2012 but not of these implemented by the government.
He said the government was also working on shale gas and it would be beneficial for the country to overcome energy crisis.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the government also working on import of LNG and first terminal it would start functioning soon.
The minister said the government would ensure transparency in the import of LNG. He said the government would also take action if anyone found involved in the corruption.
He said the government was seriously working to confront with all the challenges presently the country was facing.
He said due to interrupted supply of gas to fertilizer sector, the country has produced enough fertilizer to meet the domestic requirements.
“During current season, the country would not import fertilizer as it will save foreign exchange” he added.
He added that the government was also planning to set up terminal of LNG to supply gas to furlong areas of Kashmir, Gigilat-Baltistan, KPK and Balochistan.
He said there are also many complications in Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project and enhance in domestic production of gas is our main focus.
He said no proper planning was done during the previous years to cope with rising demand of gas, but the present government is committed to bridge this gap within shortest possible time by utilizing all options.
In his welcome address, Shaban Khalid, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry highlighted the various issues of trade and industry.
He said discrimination in gas supply to industries should be addressed and all industries should be treated at part in gas supply.
He said manufacturing industry improves productivity and creates more jobs and gas supply should be ensured to this industry which will help in generating more tax revenue and improving the economy.
He said gas pressure to industry should also be improved as usage of compressors by certain sectors to extract more gas causes low gas pressure for industry.
He said government should take measures to crack down on all illegal networks, activities and gas theft, which will improve gas availability.
He said usage of gas facility in residential areas for commercial activities should be monitored to save unnecessary of consumption.
He said ICCI fully supports action against gas thieves, but in certain cases, consumers are heavily overcharged on account of defective meters while they are at no fault and gas department should revise its policy to deal with defective meter cases to ensure that no injustice is done to the consumers.