(Sept 11, 2020)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said the country will witness a serious gas crisis soon which is resulting in sleepless nights for investors.
The successive governments have not done enough to balance supply and demand for gas over the last decade which has make crisis part of the winter in the country, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should take steps to hinder crisis in the making as it will drag the economy down.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that coronavirus, sugar and flour crisis, rains and political struggle over Karachi has added to the problems of masses and investors while gas crisis is also in the making which will be a major blow to them.
He said that demand for gas has outpaced supply since a decade and no major discovery could be ensured but gas companies are adding five to seven hundred thousand consumers annually pushing up the shortfall to almost 3.7 billion cubic feet.
A decision was taken to bridge the shortfall through LNG imports and billions of dollars were spent for the purpose but it failed to stem the crisis. The gas shortage will hit the industrial sector while masses will have the option to use LPG.
He said that the LPG mafia will increase the price after almost 300 percent increase in the demand and there will be no one to stop them from profiteering.
The business leader lamented that LNG storage capacity was not built to benefit from the record fall in the spot rates while private sector is not allowed to import LNG despite granting them licenses which has disappointed many.
The influential gas bureaucracy is discouraging private sector and it is also the biggest hurdle in providing affordable gas to masses and the business community.
If the private sector is allowed to import gas, it will reduce the price of the commodity benefiting masses and substantially reducing the import bill which is unacceptable to the gas mafia.
He said that some elements are dragging Prime Minister in different artificial crises so that he could not focus on welfare of masses.