The federal government wants the provinces to pay Rs 3.89 billion for the provision of gas connections to the locals --residents located within five kilometer radius of gas wells.

A summary has been moved, by the ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, to the Council of Common Interest (CCI) for approval, an official source told The Nation here yesterday.

The ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has pleaded that the gas utilities companies can pay up to certain amount for the provision of gas to the residents lives in five kilometer radius of gas wells and the provinces should pay the remaining balance, the official said.

Under the rule the gas utilities companies are responsible to provide free connection to the people residing within five kilometer areas of the gas well. The provinces were pressing both the gas utilities companies of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGS) to provide gas connections to the consumers’ lives in 5 kilometer radius of the gas wells which has prompted the ministry to move a summary to the CCI asking to transfer the major burden to the provinces, the official said. Sui Southern Gas Company is providing gas to the Sindh and Baluchistan while Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited supplying gas to Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federal capital. At present 67 percent of gas is produced in Sindh, 19 percent in Baluchistan, 9 percent in KPK and 5 percent in Punjab.

According the summary, the ministry of petroleum is of the view that the companies are paying Rs 54000 for the gas connections in, the five kilometer radius of gas wells, in Punjab and Sindh respectively, for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa they are paying Rs 108000 per meter connection while in Baluchistan the cost of per connection is Rs 207000, the official said.

Now the federal government has asked three provinces that the cost of gas connections in their selected areas are over and above the allocated amount of the companies, therefore they should bear the extra burden, the official said. Baluchistan was exempted because it falls within the limit of allocated amount, the official said.

The provinces have been asked to furnish about Rs 3.89 billion while the remaining will be provided by the companies, the official said.The total cost is about Rs 5.89 billion for providing connections to the selected destination of the provinces and the companies will pay its share of Rs 2 billion, the official said. Sindh has selected a total of 437 localities for the gas connections and the ministry of petroleum wants them to pay Rs 2.848 billion, the amount over and above the allocated amount per connection in the province, the official said.

Similarly Punjab has selected about 77 localities and will be paying one billion rupees from the provincial kitty, the number of selected localities by KP is five and they have to deposit Rs 15 million for the gas connections, the official said. Baluhistan has asked for the inclusion of one new locality in five kilometer radius of the gas well but it is within the limit of the allocated amount and therefore they are they are not making any contribution, the official said. End