With many regions of the country already suffering from shortage of gas, the government is working out  a gas management plan for the winter season. With increasing demand of gas on domestic and industrial level
in winter, the government is thinking of devising a plan to distribute gas among all provinces according to their required demand.

The plan will require a political decision to be made to divert 100 million cubic feet per day of gas from a fertilizer plant in Sindh and be given to the province of Punjab to fulfil its domestic needs. Minister of Petroleum,
Dr. Asim Hussain, was expected to preside over a meeting on Friday to discuss Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s instructions to ensure that gas shortage did not affect industrial and domestic consumers all over the country.

The minister cautioned other officials about the serious consequences if the people in Punjab suffer more from this gas shortage than the people of other provinces.

“That will sow the seeds of polarisation and acrimony among the provinces. We should take measures to strengthen Pakistan,” an official was quoted as telling the minister.

Taking this in view, the officials have proposed solutions to the gas shortfall problem in the country and have decided to make alterations in the gas allocation plan. These proposals are regarded as temporary and are expected
to ease out the shortfall problems till the time constitutional and legal snags are dealt with for an across-the-board fair distribution.

The officials cited that about 100 million cubic feet per day is supplied to the new fertilizer plant of the Engro Corporation in Dharki, Sindh, via Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL). This quantity of gas can easily be diverted
to Punjab to meet the shortage in the province. The Engro Corporation will then be given similar quantity of gas from Sui Southern Gas Company’s system.

This means the gas production in Sindh will be utilised by the province itself and this will also meet a legal hitch which came from the high court that the province in which gas is produced has the very first right to consume
it. The officials also admitted that this swapping method is just a temporary solution to the shortage problems and long-term remedy is still to be found.

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