ISLAMABAD - After the directions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to suspend gas supply to fertilizer industry and provide it to power plants for electricity generation, Ministry of Petroleum on Thursday devised a new plan to curtail gas supply to fertilizer sector and supply gas to power plants.

It was learnt that after detailed discussions the bosses of petroleum industry decided to curtail gas supply to fertilizer industry through a new load management plan.

It was learnt that by this new load management plan 50 million cubic feet of gas will be supplied to power plants from Friday, which will add up to 700 MW electricity to national grid.

It was learnt that the fertilizer industry mostly owned by powerful politicians and defense organistaions were exerting tremendous pressure on Ministry of Petroleum not to discontinue gas supply as fertilizer companies use gas as raw material.

In order to comply the orders and fertilizer industry demands, the Petroleum Ministry decided to curtail gas supply to fertilizer sector till the time electricity generation from hydel improves.

But experts believe otherwise. They think this temporary arrangement will not have much effect on prevailing electricity crisis. They think government should make some tough decisions instead of making temporary ones.

“It is high time that we set out priorities, solution to our problem is domestic exploration, which will give results in 5-10 years, presently we should concentrate on smart management of our available resources without taking any pressure, we should discontinue gas supply to fertilizer industry and CNG immediately and run power plants as it will provide relief to the common man”, a retired Secretary petroleum told The Nation.

Experts opine that the government should preview all existing policies and devise a comprehensive and long-term policy to end power crisis from the country.

“It is all power politics that we are still providing gas to fertilizer sector at a very nominal rate (confessional rate), this price was meant for some years to support the industry.

Likewise, we are supplying gas to CNG industry again at concessional rate, we are losing in terms of gas and money, both”, a former Secretary Petroleum said. According to data, at peak times the gap between supply and demand touched 7,000 Megawtts, during recent days whereas, according to NTDC data, the shortfall at 09am on Wednesday was 3500 MW.

In the prevailing extreme hot weather up to 15-hour loadshedding has been reported from urban whereas up to 20-hour loadshedding has been reported from rural areas of the country. Experts believe that coming days could be difficult for the Nawaz government, as with the recent measures the loadshedding duration will be hardly controlled.