Lahore - Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said the government is very serious in resolving the energy crisis which has affected the growth rate.

He said the production of electricity would exceed the demand within two years, while there would be no scarcity of gas, which would unleash a new era of progress and prosperity.

Speaking at an inaugural ceremony of Universal Gas Distribution Company (UGDC) here on Thursday, Abbasi said the gas was very important part of the nation’s energy mix, which could not be overlooked.

“Gas was discovered from 71 wells during the tenure of the incumbent government, but it hasn’t boosted production as many gas fields depleted during the same time,” he informed.

The minister said that RLNG-based CNG would be kept well below the price of petrol; otherwise the industry worth Rs450 billion would not survive.

He said the government was very serious in containing the energy crisis; that’s why a private company has been awarded licence to import and market gas, which will benefit the consumers and bring improvement in the working of gas utilities.

“Last year, the government had spent substantial amount of foreign exchange to import million of tonnes of Urea, while presently around 1.5million tonnes of Urea is surplus in the country due to availability of gas for which credit goes to LNG,” he said.

He added that industry and CNG stations in Punjab were now running, providing jobs to millions and revenue to the government due to the availability of gas, which had forced us to establish more LNG terminals and gas pipelines from Karachi to Lahore.

Abbasi said that power generation through Thar coal was a matter of time, while the fuel complying with the Euro standards would be available soon in the market, which would have a very positive impact on environment and engines.

Earlier, FPCCI President Rauf Alam, UGDC Chairman Brigadier Iftikhar, CEO UGDC Ghiyas Paracha, Petroleum Dealers Association President Abdus Sami Khan and others lauded the efforts of the petroleum minister to improve energy situation in the country.

They said they were satisfied with the performance of the government, and would extend all-out cooperation to settle energy crisis, which has become a threat to the economic revival.