KARACHI -  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has written a letter to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to implement article 158 in true letter and spirit and ensure provision of gas needed to the province before diverting it to the other parts of the country.

The letter stated that Sindh continues to produce over 2,700 MMCFD but around 1,000 MMCF gas is still being diverted daily to other parts of the country without any consent from the gas producing province. He said that the letter was written in reference to the CCI summary floated by the Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Division on implementation of Article158 and Article172(3) of the Constitution in which the federal government erroneously stated that the articles are implemented in Sindh.

Responding to this reply from the federal government, the chief minister said that as per last published Energy Year book 2015 daily natural gas production in Sindh has varied between 2,700 to 2,900 MMCFD in different years as against daily consumption of 1,560 MMCFD by all sectors of economy in 2015.

The power and fertiliser sectors consumed the bulk with 589 MMCFD and 252 MMCFD respectively whose benefits were enjoyed by the entire country. Despite surplus gas production, Sindh has been facing gas loadshedding in CNG and industrial sectors and no new connection is being provided to power generation, industrial, commercial and residential sectors by SSGCL, he stated in the letter, adding that it was unjust and a clear violation of Article 158.

He stated that the province has a growing and vibrant economy with a potential to utilise the entire gas produced in the province. “Diversion of gas to other parts of the country, without first meeting the requirements of Sindh, on the basis of an arbitrary and unilateral decision of ECC, is unconstitutional.”

He stated that allocation of gas to Sindh in accordance with Article 158 would be beneficial for the entire country as they intends to utilise 500-600 MMCFD gas to generate 3,000MW affordable power which would cost much less than the current average power tariff and rest of the gas for industrial and domestic consumers of Sindh.

He urged the federal government to allocate all natural gas from old and new well heads located in the province for the consumers so that province can meet its immediate, short term and long term requirements in power, fertiliser, industrial, domestic and commercial sectors. He said that the surplus quantity after meeting the requirement of the province and with the consent of provincial government may be diverted to other areas. The letter stated that this would be beneficial for the country as a prosperous and developed Sindh would prove to be the economic engine of the country.