Atif Khan

ISLAMABAD

Denying claims about getting preferential treatment in gas quota, business tycoon Arif Habib said in an exclusive interview that his business activities were helping the economy and generating thousands of jobs.

Habib claimed that his position as Director Sui Northern Gas Pipelines limited (SNGPL) was not in a conflict of interest with his vast businesses. Although he admitted that his factory Fatima Fertilizer receives uninterrupted gas supply but justified it as having a legal cover. “It is not only Fatima getting uninterrupted gas supply, Fauji Fertilizer is also getting 400 mmcfd, ENGRO is getting 200 MMCFD, Fatima is getting gas according to LNG Policy 2001,” Arif Habib said in a telephonic interview to TheNation. This interview was recorded in WAQT TV on Monday. Pakistan is going through a severe energy crisis and some experts say that the government should curtail natural gas supply to fertilizer industry and CNG sector and instead use this gas for the power generation.

Fertilizer sector is the biggest consumer of gas in the country. Reportedly, out of the total 4.3 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD) country’s gas production, the fertilizer sector’s total gas allocation is 818 MMCFD, of which main portion is being supplied by the Mari Petroleum Company Limited.

Critics say the uninterrupted gas supply to Fatima Fertilizers has resulted in the company making huge profits.

The Fatima Fertilizer Company Limited was incorporated on December 24, 2003, as a joint venture between Fatima Group and Arif Habib Group at Sadiqabad, Rahim Yar Khan.

The Complex has been allocated 110 MMCFD of gas from the dedicated Mari Gas fields. Fatima’s feedstock gas price is fixed at a lowest level of $0.7/mmbtu. Along with Fatima Fertlizer, Arif Habib owns around a dozen of other businesses. Habib believes that running so many businesses and being a director SNGPL at same time is not conflict of interest. “All the directors of SNGPL get gas from SNGPL, some for commercial purpose, some for industrial purpose and some get natural gas for their domestic purpose. Even MD is also getting gas all employees are getting gas, is it a conflict of interest”? he asked, adding, “Government invited me for the director position and government thinks I am fit for the position and can contribute to the company, so I am here,” Habib said. Industrialist Arif Habib denied that any of his companies or Pak Arab Fertilizer or Fatima received gas under his influence as SNGPL Director. He termed the story published in The Nation on May10, by the scribe, as baseless, false and with malicious contentions. He termed it “impugned”. Habib said that he was contributing to the economy of the country and was not looter.