FAISALABAD - Uninterrupted gas supply to the textile industry is top priority of the government, said Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain.
He added that the government was trying to stop gas loadshedding during winter 2013. Addressing the members of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association, Dr Asim said President Asif Ali Zardari was well aware of the problems of the textile industry. He said sufficient gas would be added to the system by winter 2013. The Oil and Gas Development Company Limited would enhance production of 400 MMCF gas by mid 2013.
He said, “CNG for vehicles was wrong decision of the previous government but we are trying to solve this issue on permanent basis and want to give a true roadmap to end gas crisis.” Regarding gas info structure development charges, the Adviser said that the government had reduced these by 50 percent. However, gas development charges paid by the industrialists will be adjusted in the next bill.
He promised with members of the PTEA that he would visit Faisalabad every month to solve the textile sector’s problems. Dr Asim Hussain also announced a committee to coordinate with the Ministry to finalize gas management schedule for textile sector. Chairman PTEA Rana Arif Touseef and APTMA Chairman Gohar Ijaz will be members of the committee.
Earlier in his welcome address, Rana Arif Touseef, the Chairman of the PTEA gave brief introduction to the association. He said that members of the PTEA earned 6 billion dollars through textile exports. He said that gas loadshedding creating problems for the industry. He stressed the government to make arrangements to give continuous gas supply to the industry.  The chief guest also inaugurated the renovation work of the PTEA building.
On the other side, the managing director of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd feared Punjab will face severe gas loadshedding during the upcoming winter season as demand for gas will rise to 1100m cubic feet per day against 8.5 million mmfpd recorded during the preceding year of 2011.
Addressing a luncheon arranged by the All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association, MD Arif Hameed said that the gas supply to CNG stations will be curtailed and provided for four days a week to the station as well as to industrial sector. He said that efforts would be made to curtail minimum possible gas supply to industry in consultation with leaders of the industrial sector.
He said that efforts were afoot to purchase gas from Iran by laying a pipeline but it would take at least two years for accomplishment of this project. He hinted-that Pakistan could get gas from India within next 6 months by laying pipeline within its territory and thus after augmentation  of gas , we could restore gas supply to fertiliser factories and power plants.
The managing director said that some elements were disrupting the present gas supply system by getting gas without approval from the gas authorities and also by pilferage. He said that the SNGPL was trying its best to eliminate gas theft in the province and added that owing to strict vigilance, we traced 7000 cases of industrial, commercial and domestic gas theft who were doing the illegal practice for 4 times, besides tracing 6,000 cases of gas pilferage for 3 times.
He said that due to fixed procedure of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, the company cannot impose any penalty on pilferers but it could charge maximum 12 time gas bill from the pilferers.
 He said that the company was contemplating to install surveillance system in the industrial units which would indicate the pilferage done in these units. Earlier, in his speech, APTMA Chairman Gohar Ejaz highlighted the efforts of the Association for uninterrupted power supply to industrial sector of the Punjab.
Naveed Gulzar, the regional chairman of APTMA, Muzammal Sultan, the President of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ahsan Bashir, the Chairman of the APTMA Punjab, Rana Arif Tausif, the chairman of the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association, Shahzad Ali Khan, the upcoming chairman of the APTMA Punjab, also spoke on the occasion.
They demanded round-the-clock gas supply for the industrial units. Syed Omer Nazar Shah, the founder chairman of the APTMA, Faisalabad Region, said that the government should solve the energy crisis and bring gas from Iran. He also stressed for getting gas from India and demanded immediate withdrawal of gas tariff increase.
He advocated that equilibrium must be maintained for gas and power supply to all the provinces and industrial sector by exempting them from loadshedding. Later, he presented an APTMA shield to Dr Asim Hussain. The Adviser was scheduled to chair the APTMA meeting but due to some unavoidable circumstances he could not reach the meeting venue from Karachi.
GCUF awards BA/BSc toppers: The prize distribution ceremony among the position-holders of BA/BSc annual examinations was held here at GC University, Faisalabad on Saturday. On the occasion, GCU Vice Chancellor Dr Zakir Hussain congratulated the position-holders, their college principals, parents and teachers.
In the BSC part-I and second annual examinations 2012, Hina Zulfiqar took first  position, Samina Akhtar got second and Naveed Anwar grabbed third position. Similarly in BA part-I and second, Ayesha got first position, Afeefa Yousuf took second and third position was jointly shared by Sumaya Batool and Bushra Yaseen. The top position in the first annual composite BA/BSC examination-2012 part-I and second was secured by Bilqees Arshad, Saba Mubarak took second and Mukhtar Ahmed stood third.
VC Dr Zakir gave away cash prizes to position-holders and also offered tuition-fee free admissions to them in the GCU Faisalabad. Speaking on the occasion, the VC reiterated his ambition to bring the university at par the international standard.
 He pointed out that several MOUs had been signed with foreign universities to enhance research quality and strengthen the programmes in various disciplines.
He expressed his gratitude to the Punjab government for the provision of 200 acres of land for the establishment of new campus.