The gas crisis now unfolding was clearly projected in the 25-year projections (2005-2030) prepared by the National Energy Plan and Infrastructure Committee. A clear solution for gap coverage strategy was also provided, which amongst many projects, included the following for the gas sector. (i) Local gas production from the discovered fields in the South (Pashaki, Kunhar, Tay, etc) and North fields (Gurguri etc) on-line by 2008-2009 for an addition of about 500 mmcfd. (ii) Award of Mashal LNG in 2007 to bring on-line Phase I, fast track (FSRU) by 2009 for 300 mmcfd followed by land based terminal for 500 mmcfd by 2010-2011. (iii) Launch and award of LNG II by 2008 for addition of 500 mmcfd by 2011-2012. (iv) Finalization and award of IP or TAP Transnational pipelines by 2007-2008 to add 1.2 bcf by 2014-2015. The abovementioned projects would have added 2,700 mmcfd gas to the national network and provided for a viable coverage of the projected demand-supply gap up to 2015-2016. Unfortunately due to the complacency and lack of competent management, these projects have not been finalized. It is clearly evident that while adequate projections were made, and plans formulated in good time as part of the National Energy Plan approved in February 2005, the award of contracts and implementation has been delayed and held-up inordinately. The resulting gas crisis is now very much a reality, with no immediate solution in sight. The question is why contracts have not been awarded yet. The former ministers and secretaries of OGDC, ISGSL, SSGC, who were primarily the main persons, must be called upon to account for dereliction of duty. The country today is faced with a gas shortage of about 1,200 bcfd, which has resulted in a total shut-down of hundreds of smaller industries. The economic fallout of this is the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, as well as loss to GDP and exports of over $ 1 billion as projected by various trade bodies. It is essential that a central authority, namely the NEA National Energy Authority be set-up as a statutory body, which would be tasked with responsibility of planning and preparing an integrated energy plan, The NEA would also monitor and oversee the implementation of various gas projects currently in limbo. There should be no further delay. MUNAWAR B. AHMAD, November 2.