Almost 15 percent of the country’s natural gas is going to waste every day. This is the amount of gas, if directed to the fertiliser sector can help operate up to four plants of the size of Engro Fertiliser.

The reason behind this is regular leakages, theft and measurement errors. And all of this goes unregistered and unaccounted for. The result of this is the building pressure on the consumer due to the rising tariffs. This is the only feasible option that our government comes up with in times of crisis, rather than introducing effective technical means to ensure that we incur no such losses.

The amount of gas that is going to waste every day is the same amount that is currently being imported at the expense of our foreign exchange losses. If no effective means are introduced to counter the loss, this could lead to the virtual collapse of two companies in three years.

Successive governments have only used this scarce commodity to their advantage by providing temporary solutions to problems and increasing their vote bank. In doing so, they forget that a large number of the population has to suffer the wrath of the cold every winter. Every winter, we witness an increasing number of protestors when utilities struggle to ensure gas pressure.

Pakistani authorities need to come up with policies to ensure the effective management of our natural resources. Just two days ago, it was brought to the limelight that the water level at our dams is reaching dead level. This should be a cause for alarm and a sign to start owning the land and its protection. For the economy to grow, it is important that we preserve our resources and use them intelligently. It is important to protect our local industry and move towards self-sufficiency. Minor glitches, such as these, can over time create greater conflicts if left unresolved.