Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has appealed to the federal government to supply natural gas to domestic and industrial consumers in Sindh on a priority basis as his province accounts for most of the indigenous gas produced in the country.
Shah made the appeal while delivering a policy statement of his government in the Sindh Assembly on the persisting natural gas crisis in the province.
While the Sindh CM was delivering the statement, the Karachi-based industrialists were present in the hall of Sindh Assembly to witness its proceedings after they met the CM on the issue of natural gas crisis faced by their industries during the current winter. Shah said that domestic consumers in the province had been adversely hit as they had no fuel during the current winter to cook food.
He said that industries of Karachi had to suffer the gas crisis even when they had signed contracts with the government to get the supply of expensive LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as the federal government could not place the orders on time to import LNG.
He said that domestic consumers in the province should get natural gas supply on priority as per the Constitution. He said that next preference in supplying gas should be given to the indigenous industries of the province.
Shahd said that he had written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan last month to request him that 1500 to 16000 MMCFD natural gas out of total 2500 to 2600 MMCFD gas indigenously produced in the province should be supplied for own consumption by the Sindh-based consumers.
He said that Article-158 of the Constitution was very clear on the issue as the consumers in the province shouldn’t suffer the agonising gas crisis they had been experiencing now.
He said that 450 MMCFD volume of natural gas produced in the province was unconstitutionally being diverted to the system of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd. He said that this illegal diversion of gas from the province, at the expense of consumers in Sindh, should be stopped at once.
Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh also informed the Sindh Assembly that natural gas reserves in the province would last for 12 to 15 years.