Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Mr. Sohail Wajahat Siddiqui has initiated consultations with stakeholders to resolve energy crisis through short term measures.
In this regard, he held first meeting with a delegation of the All Pakistan CNG Association APCNGA on Tuesday led by Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA. Brig. retd Iftikhar, Ashar Haleem and others were also present on the occasion.
Minister for Petroleum Sohail Wajahat Siddiqui said that increasing petroleum imports are eating up precious foreign exchange reserves therefore he wants to boost efficient use of natural gas. He informed that reducing line losses, gas theft and ensuring just distribution of gas are high on his agenda.
The minister accepted that CNG is a highly beneficial commodity for the poor and mediocre people of the country and said that he will take an effective decision within days to settle issues. Siddiqui asked the APCNGA officials to bring implementable recommendations on Wednesday so that it can be reviewed in detail before implementation.
On the occasion, Ghiyas Paracha lauded the move of the minister and apprised him of the problems of 3.7 million owners of cars converted on economic fuel and eighty million people using CNG vehicles for transportation. He said that CNG sector has been getting gas for three days a week during which working hours have been reduced to sixteen due to power load shedding leaving business unviable.
Paracha said that no business could remain viable while working for three days a week and deprived of the operational cost. He said that CNG and industrial sector are being destroyed under the garb of gas scarcity that is contrary to the ground reality. Building his case, the leader of the CNG sector informed meeting that recent explosion in a main gas pipeline was not an act of terror but high pressure caused the blast.
He said that APCNGA will extend all out cooperation if the petroleum ministry is serious in resolving the energy crisis and hoped that situation will swing to normal within days if our recommendations are accepted. During the meeting, both sides agreed to resolve gas crisis and issues of CNG sector jointly to end sufferings of masses and ensure national development.