Sui Northern Gas Company is a national limited company. Government of Pakistan is a major partner and is directly involved in it. It is the largest gas supply company in Pakistan. Its basic responsibility is to supply the gas. This company is earning handsome profit. It covers its losses of the division of gas with the income of the supply of gas. Now, the government has planned to divide the company into different branches. The supply of gas should be under a separate institution. While there should be two separate branches for the division and sale of gas. When the division of gas will be under a separate institution, this department will be damaged. The domestic users and small industries will be affected badly.

KPMG, which is the largest accounts company, has pointed out this division in its analysis. It says that both the branches have to suffer from a loss because of this division. They will lose their assets within few years. The result will be that more than half of its employees will become jobless. The domestic, commercial and industrial connection will not have enough supply of gas. Gas will be supplied to cement, power and fertilisers plants only. They will need more pressure of gas. Sui Southern will also face the same situation. As a result, the domestic users of Sindh and Balochistan will be deprived of gas. 70 million users will have no supply of gas. The state will have to face severe consequences. Because Balochistan is providing 60% of total gas supply to the whole country. Now, it has very little resources of gas. Balochistan will be asked to provide gas to its users with these remaining resources. It means that federal government has no resources of gas for them.

Another purpose of the division of gas company is that the government wants to sell the gas supply business to its favourite people. Who will sell gas at high prices and earn a huge profit. The government had established institutions like LESCO and FESCO for the distribution of electricity. But the result was damaging.

The government has put ads to hire the transaction advisors within six months. It wants to hire the advisors before the end of its term. If it happens, it will be much worse. According to a progress report of Sui Northern Gas Company, 6741 km long service line has been provided to 176 new towns and villages in 2017. As a result 4020704 new connections have been given. The present network of the company is providing facilities for 3543 districts, towns and villages.

Some cases of corruption have also been reported in the Sui Northern Gas Company. The Punjab government established a task force under the leadership of Secretary for commerce, industry and investment in June 2013. According to its report 121 officers in 8 big districts were found involved in gas stealing. They corrupted 5 billion Rs. Unfortunately, these corrupt officers were again on duty in January, 2014. It means that no inquiry was held against them in order to save the national wealth in future. According to a report of The Dawn News that was published in February, 2017, ex PM Nawaz Sharif gave the connections of gas to increase the vote bank of his MNAs in the middle of 2016. These members were 55 in number. It shows that the government is spending the national resources only on its favourite people. In January, 2018 Dawn News again reported that the important record of the company in an office of Gujranwala from 2001-2004 was misplaced. Senior accounts officer was found involved in the corruption of 200 million rupees. Jahangir Badar (late), who was the minister for Gas and Petroleum in the PPPP Govt, allotted 50% quota of LPG to the firm of Senator Gulzar Ahmad, Waqar Ahmad Khan and Ammar Ahmad Khan.

The government of Pakistan has prepared an analysis with the help of World Bank in order to maintain the department of gas. Following challenges have been pointed out in this analysis.

1              An increase has been noticed in the demand and supply of gas.

2              The cost of gas has been increased for users. The cost of gas for users is not in accordance with the new resources of gas supply and the cost of LNG. It is quite low.

3              There is no deficit record of the gas company.

4              The infrastructure of the gas company is less developed.

Instead of supporting Supreme Court against corruption, The government is hindering in its work. It is going to complete its tenure, 45 days are left. But still, it is trying to privatise Sui Northern Gas, Sui Southern Gas, PIA and Steel Mill. In fact, it is an effort to destabilise the country. We demand that these institutions should not be privatised. Sui Southern Gas should not be divided into branches. Sui Southern Gas Company should have the responsibility to distribute gas among Punjab, KP, Sindh, Balochistan, FATA, Northern areas and Azad Kashmir. It should have the responsibility to distribute the gas among the users of south Sindh and Balochistan also.

 

The writer is the Secretary  General of JIP.