(January 05, 2022)
Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that lack of governance in the energy sector is hurting the country’s economy.
The troubled economy has suffered billions of dollars in losses because of inefficiency in the gas sector, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that masses and the economy are facing IMF conditions, money budget, inflation, weak currency and policies that contradict the ground realities.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that last month, in just 15 days the textile sector in Punjab suffered a loss of 250 million dollars due to gas load shedding which has also affected the country’s reputation.
He said that the gas bureaucracy has been continuously failing to import LNG in a timely manner for the last two years, which is affecting the economy.
When gas was cheap, it was not imported and now its price in the international market is more than the purchasing power of Pakistani consumers.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan has been importing LNG for six years and it has become the world’s ninth largest LNG importer but it has failed to streamline the system and experiments are being done.
He noted that during all these years, neither gas pipelines could be built nor new gas terminals have been built. Expansion of old terminals wasn’t allowed despite the demand while the private sector is not being allowed to import gas in order to maintain the monopoly of the state-run gas companies which is tantamount to playing with the future of the country.
He said that 60 percent of the country’s exports were related to the textile sector; the production of this sector had increased by six per cent since March while exports were at $11.4 billion but gas load shedding has pushed back the production and export process.
The business leader said that the gas international suppliers have also shown their inability in supplying gas to Pakistan as they are getting more profit from Europe while local gas reserves are declining by nine percent annually.
Dozens of international oil and gas exploration companies have either closed their businesses in Pakistan or been forced to leave the country, while local companies could not find good oil and gas reserves because of rampant mismanagement.