NA body recommends 2 mln gas connections in two years


ISLAMABAD, July 10 (APP): National Assembly Standing Committee
on Petroleum and Natural Resources Monday recommended the Sui
Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL) to give two million gas
connections during the fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19.
The committee meeting, chaired by Chaudhry Bilal Ahmed Virk,
appreciated Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan
Abbasi for making untiring efforts to overcome the energy crisis, adding that these
endeavor succeeded to a great extent.
The minister apprised the body that the SNGPL issued 1.5 million new
connections since the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government
came into power in 2013, and hopefully the figure would reach 2.5 million till completion
of its tenure.
He said with the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the energy
situation had improved across the country including in Punjab where 40
percent gas supply had reduced after the 18th constitutional amendment.
Shahhid Khaqan Abbasi said LNG was the cheapest alternative fuel
and it was the only available remedy to meet the country’s energy needs when
the existing natural gas reserves were depleting.
The committee, in consultation with the minister, also recommended
to increase gas connection quota per new scheme from 200 to 300 connections
on first come and first serve basis.
Officials of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) informed the body that the
company recorded highest ever 24 percent increase in its profit during nine
months of the last fiscal years.
On a committee member’s query, they said PSO’s receivables on
account of power sector had increased from Rs 131 billion in February, 2015
to Rs 176.1 billion in June 2017, whereas its bank borrowing had increased
from Rs 92 billion in January 2015 to Rs 127 billion in June 30, 2017.
Among others, the meeting was attended by MNAs Muhammad
Arshad Khan Leghari, Malik Ihtebar Khan, Rana Afzaal Hussain, Syed
Muhammad Saqlain Bukhari, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Rana Muhammad
Ishaq Khan, Rasheed Ahmad Khan, Chaudhry Khalid Javaid Warraich,
Imran Khattak, Abdul Waseem and Sajid Ahmed, officials from the Ministry
of Petroleum and Natural Resources, SNGPL, PSO, Pakistan Mineral
Development Corporation (PMDC) and Hydro-Carbon Development Institute
of Pakistan (HDIP), OGDCL and SSGCL.