Industrialists demand gas connections to export-oriented industry on priority

KARACHI: Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Associations (PHMA), Central Chairman, Muhammad Jawed Bilwani has welcomed the proposal of Petroleum Division to lift moratorium on new connections of indigenous natural gas to industrial users and to distribute gas as per constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

He added that it is long withheld demand of PHMA to provide gas connections to the export industries on priority basis. He also appreciated the Senate Standing Committee for thoughtfulness to recommend the Government to provide the first right of use of indigenous gas to the province from where the gas is produced. Accordingly, he demanded, the Government to provide industrial gas connections to the export industry on priority following by general industry.

Globally the Governments give priority in Natural  Gas Supply to the industries while Domestic and Commercial Sector is supplied LPG, while here it is the other way round and precious Natural Gas is being supplied to Domestic and Commercial sectors at the cost of industries which badly requires indigenous gas. Moreover unaccounted for gas (UFG) / Line Losses are approx. 10% in the Domestic and Commercial Sectors while it is approx. 1% in the Industries Sector.

He added that SSGCL and SNGPL expanded their transmission network by 337 Km and 696 Km and distribution network by 760 Km and 6,700 Km respectively during FY 2016-17 to provide natural gas to the villages which has greatly perturbed the Export Sector which is struggling hard to make both ends meet and is battling for its survival with severest competition in the global market against neighbouring and regional competing countries.

Bilwani revealed that the population living below the poverty line don’t use the domestic natural gas but bio-fuel or woods or LPG while currently the indigenous natural gas is used in the domestic sector in the Bungalows, Houses, Flats by upper-class of Urban Areas. He lamented that population living below the poverty line even don’t have roofs on their heads.

He stated after lying of gas pipelines in the villages, Biogas Plants installed for cooking, lighting & irrigation purpose were removed from the villages and native areas. Biogas Technology (BT) offers an efficient way of biomass utilization. It involves anaerobic fermentation of organic materials such as animal dung, agricultural wastes, aquatic weeds etc. to produce methane rich fuel gas and a value added organic fertilizer. Thus, it has considerable potential for providing fuel and fertilizer besides being on efficient system for recycling waste of prevention of pollution, ecological imbalance and improvement of sanitary conditions in the rural areas.

He proposed that the domestic connections already given in the urban and rural areas should removed gradually and converted to other sources LGP in Urban areas and  Biogass in Rural Areas.

Bilwani recalled that in Pakistan, gas field was discovered in 1952 and production of gas started in 1955. From 1955 to 1970 the government’s policy for gas utilization was for industry and power generation. In 70s, there was a shift in policy and gas was supplied to small towns and villages at a nominal rate and from 1988 onwards, gas supply was irrationally prioritized to the domestic sector. Subsequently he demanded that the first priority should be given to the five zero rated export industries following by general industries.

Bilwani voiced that one can imagine how can exports be enhanced, GDP increased and Trade Deficit reduced when the export oriented sectors are being treated after the domestic and commercial sectors?

Jawed Bilwani, Central Chairman, PHMA fervently appealed to the Government that the gas moratorium on Industrial consumers should be lifted and adequate supply of gas be ensured to the industries to enable the export sector to enhance their exports leading to generation of employment; increase in GDP and reduction in Trade Deficit.

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