KARACHI - Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain said on Saturday that summary for the removal of Sales Tax on the import of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) will be submitted to the Cabinet next week.

He was talking to media after handing over certificates for units of Sui Southern Gas Company under Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme (BESOS) at a local hotel. He said the levy on LPG has been imposed on the producers. The minister pointed out that a road map was under preparation for removing the gap between the demand and supply of natural gas in the country. This plan will enable the country to get the required gas in three to five years, he added.

He said that the country was facing shortage of 1.8 billion cubic feet (BFC) of gas per day as demand was 6 BCF while production was 4.2 BFC per day.

Dr Asim said that nobody in the country paid attention to energy issues and therefore never tried to chalk out plan for acquiring energy in a proper manner.

He asked SSGC to cut down unaccounted for gas (UFG) by at least 2 per cent as the system is loosing 300 to 500 mmcf of gas per day at current UFG level.

Responding to a question, he said the government gives top priority to domestic users of natural gas over other consumers including CNG.

To another question, the minister said that Sui Levies have been created to protect the gas pipelines in Sui gas field area from sabotages. In addition, we are also trying to resolve the issue with the help of Chief Minister Balochistan.

He urged the recipients of BESOS to work with dedication to improve the values of SSGC’s shares, raise its profits by cutting UFG. The minister asked SSGC to confirm those employees who are working in the company since last ten years after conducting their tests.

Earlier, president PPP Karachi Senator Faisal Raza Abidi said that 47,000 employees have been regularized after the instructions of Prime Minister under party policy. More than 100,000 workers in the government departments will be confirmed under this policy, aid that his next focus is on the sacked workers of Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC).

He said 11 goths have been regularized while the survey for 850 villages in Karachi has been completed out of total 1625 villages.

This will benefit 15 million people, he noted.

Managing director SSGC Azim Iqbal Siddiqui said that with the receipt of BESOS certificates, the employees have become the owners of this company and they must work hard to further strengthen this company.