ISLAMABAD - Fertilizer man-ufacturers have criticised Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for prolonging gas cut to fertilizer sector and giving priority to power sector regarding gas allocation. Well-placed sources in the Ministry of Industries and Production have informed that in a special meeting regarding 'Gas Curtailment & Fertilizer Industry conducted under the Chairmanship of Mir Hazar Khan Bajarani, the Managing Director of Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited (FFC) told the participants that in spite of the fact that the government had promised that gas would be restored as soon as water situation improved and at any case it was guaranteed that curtailment would end by July 31. It was quite perturbing that the gas cut was prolonging which was the most damaging to the Industry. This uncertain prolonged cut was giving a negative perception of the industrys situation at home and abroad to 'future investors. According to him, Pakistan Fertilizer Industry gas curtailment was also discussed at the recently held conference of International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA). During the meeting, the Chief Executive Officer of Agritech while endorsing the views put forward by FFC drew attention of the meeting towards short-term and long-term repercussions for the industry and the concession proposed to redress the short-run implications. The proposals were for compensating those that were subjected to a more pronounced cut. These proposals had been taken to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and the Energy Summit Review Meeting but unfortunately, nothing concrete had come out of it. Even the representative of the FFC was of the view that Mari Gas should be restored to the fertilizer industry since it was not pipeline quality gas and had 'carbon dioxide and 'nitrogen which was being wasted as long as consumed by the power sector and was specifically the reason for dedicating Mari shallow to the fertilizer sector as part of the fertilizer policy 2001. He said that it was unfortunate that fertilizer quality gas was being given to the power sector entailing wastages. He said that two decisions were required to be taken to give Guddu additional gas without jeopardising the interests of the fertilizer industry vis-a-vis diversion of gas from Mari gas. Moreover, the CEO Engro, underscored that while new gas supply projects were being announced and advertisements portrayed that load shedding was being restored to, to assist the 'Industry was ironic that in fact the 'fertilizer industry was being continually subjected to gas cut beyond the stipulated period and even after the water situation had improved. However, available documents with TheNation revealed that during this meeting, Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources stressed that any decisions taken under the garb of energy crisis should be well thought and should not only benefit one sector exclusively at high cost to the others and the economy as a whole. He said the energy situation might worsen till the new initiatives taken by the government started supplementing the current energy supply and as such it was critical that the government protected the existing allocation while the new ones might be diverted to the priority areas.