World moot aims at promoting LPG in auto sector: Irfan

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Distributors Association of Pakistan (LPGDAP) will hold the 3rd international conference on March 11 in Lahore for promotion of the LPG in auto sector. LPGDAP Chairman Irfan Khokhar said that the day-long conference will pass three resolutions to make LPG import more viable by waiving of signature bonus/premium and regulatory duty, take drastic safety measures in production of quality LPG cylinders and devise an effective strategy to promote the commodity in auto sector. Among others, the moot would be attended by delegates from abroad and across the country including LPG importers, distributors, marketing companies, cylinder manufacturers and regulators besides senior officials of the concerned departments. Khokhar said participants of the conference deliberate on a host of issues being faced by the LPG sector including the commodity's import and production of sub-standard cylinders by illegal factories.

Answering a question, he said the government had successfully brought down and maintained the LPG prices between Rs 80 and 100 per kilogram during the last four and half years, which was earlier being sold at Rs 350 and Rs 400 per kg in different parts of the country.

He said LPG sector witnessed remarkable progress during the tenure of current government as sale of commodity had reached 1176496.47 metric ton in 2017, which was 50,232 metric ton in 2014.

He claimed that with abolishing of advance tax and regulatory duty and introduction of feasible import of LPG, the commodity would be cheaper than petrol and diesel by 55 percent and 65 percent respectively.

Kitchen gardening provides healthy vegetables

FAISALABAD (APP): The agriculture experts have advised the general public to adopt kitchen gardening as it is not only a healthy activity but also provides cheap and hygienic vegetables for human consumption. According to a spokesman for Agriculture (Extension) Department, lady finger, bitter gourd (Kraila), gourd (Ghiya Kaddu), Cucumis Anguria (Tinda), bottle-gourd (Ghiya Tori) and cucumber (Kheera) can be sown to get healthy vegetables during summer. Seeds of these vegetables are easily available in the market as well as from the Agriculture Department. Therefore, people should cultivate these vegetables which are not only pesticide free but are also fit for human consumption and keep the people healthy, he added. He said that people could grow these vegetable in pots, plastic bags, crates, boxes and open spaces in their houses and if the space is not available in the house lawn. The same can also be cultivated at rooftop of the houses. The Agriculture Department has also started a special campaign to educate and impart training to the people.

so that they can get maximum benefits from kitchen gardening, he added.

He said that people should cultivate approved varieties as these have better disease resistance in addition to provide maximum production.

The growers should contact the agriculture department immediately if they need any assistance or guidance in this regard, he added.

Call for identical RLNG tariff across Pakistan

LAHORE (APP): Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) has called for implementing identical tariff for Re-gasified Liquid Natural Gas (RLNG) across country. Association's Senior Vice Chairman Zaffar Mehmood said here Sunday that high rates of RLNG in Punjab as compared to the rates applicable in other provinces, had made difficult even the survival of local chemical industries, therefore, federal government in general and Punjab government in particular should take a serious note of the situation that was hampering industrial operations in the province. Zaffar Mehmood observed that in comparison to international and regional economies, the high cost of gas and additional surcharge on electricity in Punjab had perturbed the local chemical manufacturers. He was of the view that high energy cost was not only posing a substantial loss to exchequer but also to livelihood of millions of families associated with the industry. He explained that gas in the three provinces i.e. Sindh, KPK and Baluchistan was being supplied at the rate of Rs 600/MMBTU.

, however, in Punjab RLNG rates were being charged up to Rs 1300/ MMBTU thus adding more than 100 percent cost on this head, making the operation of chemical units economically unviable.

PCMA Senior Vice Chairman added that the issue deserved immediate attention of Punjab Chief Minister as well as the federal government to remove this disparity. He warned that the present uneven tariff, if not addressed properly, would decelerate the growth of industry and exports in Punjab. He emphasized to set the gas tariff at Rs 600 across the country and also urged the quarters concerned to waive the electricity surcharge of Rs 3.60 that would lower the overall industrial input cost. He mentioned that a medium scale industrial unit consumed around 15000-20000 MMBTU per month. So the difference came to more than Rs 100 million which was huge, therefore effective measures should be put in place to maintain regional and global competitiveness.

Gas firms expand transmission network

ISLAMABAD (APP): The two state companies, SNGPL and SSGCL, have increased their transmission network by 1,044 kilometers and distribution network by 7,460 km during the last fiscal year. "The Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) have increased their transmission network by 337 km and 697 km and distribution network by 760 km and 6,700 km respectively for providing gas to distant localities and added more consumers to the gas network," Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) said in its annual report for the year 2016-17. As of June 30, 2017, according to the report, the SSGCL and SNGPL's cumulative transmission network stood at 3,973 km and 8,975 km and distribution network at 45,521 km and 110,217 km respectively. The two utilities provided new gas connections to 486,418 consumers, while the cumulative consumer base of both the companies stood at 8,575,760, it added. The report forecast that due to ever increasing demand for gas, the country would face an increasing deficit in gas supply.

"The shortfall in gas is expected to reach 3,999 million cubic feet per day mmcfd) gas by FY 2019-20 and the gap will reach 6,611 mmcfd without imported gas by FY 2029-30." The government, being cognizant of the situation, has initiated various measures to bridge the gap between demand and supply, which included incentivizing of local gas production, import of natural gas in the form of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and cross country pipelines from Iran and Turkmenistan. The government had developed two LNG handling terminals (each having re-gasification capacity of 650 mmcfd gas) at Karachi Port, which is a major milestone achieved to mitigate gas shortages in the country. During the period under review, total supply of natural gas in the country, including imported RLNG, has reached 4,131 mmcfd.