KARACHI   -  The government reached an agreement with the stakeholders to resolve the issue of gas supply to CNG sector and the industries.

After a meeting with CNG Association and industrialists at the Governor House in Karachi, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan told the media that the gas of the CNG sector is being resumed from 8pm on Saturday (yesterday).

He said the SSGC (Sui Southern Gas Company) would implement the gas load management plan, under which the CNG stations would remain closed three days a week during the winter season.

The minister said that agreement has also been reached about gas supply to the captive power plants, which would get half supply for three months [during winters].

He added that the supply to the captive plants of different industries would remain closed on Sundays and the operators won’t sell excess electricity made from gas.

The meeting at the Governor House was also attended by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, PTI Sindh chapter general secretary Haleem Adil Sheikh and some other leaders. The governor told the media that the three-party agreement has been reached with consensus of all parties and the supply problem has been resolved.

Imran Ismail said efforts were made to resolve the issue on the special instruction of Prime Minister Imran Khan while the federal petroleum minister was already active in this regard.

Petroleum minister Sarwar Khan in his media talk said that he held meetings with the stakeholders and made efforts to know the reason of the gas shortage and the agreement was made after knowing the basic facts.

He said the prime minister had already formed an inquiry committee over gas crisis and ordered him to return from Karachi only after resolving this matter.

The minister said that due to the gas crisis country’s exports were reduced and many people became jobless.

In order to address the gas shortage problem in the whole country the government has already brought the industries of Punjab on LNG and subsidy was being given to them to lessen the pressure on supply of natural gas.

Sarwar informed that the overall production from oil and gas fields has decreased over the years. However he said that the Gambat gas field, which had stopped supplying gas to the SSGC, had now started producing 45mmcfd gas.

The PTI minister alleged that during last five years the working class was subjected to an economic genocide.

Sarwar said electricity produced from furnace oil is costlier than power produced from LNG. To stop supply of costly electricity to people, they have curbed the import of furnace oil. Under the new policy therefore the consumption of LNG is rising and of furnace oil decreasing, he added.

He said the stance of Sindh energy minister was totally wrong and he was telling 100 percent truth. He challenged all those people who believed that Sindh was in more difficult position than Punjab in terms of gas supply. He said the industries in Punjab have already been shifted to operate on LPG and Sindh is relatively in comfortable position.

The federal minister said they also met with Sindh chief minister also on the instruction of Prime Minister Imran Khan as they wanted to take the opposition along with them. He said the Sindh government and the PPP should also show openness for the good of the people.

He urged the Sindh government to resolve the problems of Karachi where, he said, he was seeing ‘hills’ of garbage. The minister said Karachi was lagging behind in development and the provincial government should bring policy and administrative changes to restore the glory of port city.