24/7 gas supply to masses not possible: Pakistan minister
7 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
Pakistan's Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik stated that the country's gas supply cannot be guaranteed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Pakistan’s Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik stated that the country’s gas supply cannot be guaranteed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Pakistan is heavily reliant on natural gas for electricity, and with increased demand and insufficient supply, load-shedding has become a daily occurrence in the country, a report said. The situation deteriorated throughout Ramadan since the masses required gas for cooking and other purposes, particularly at sehri and iftar hours. The minister told journalists in Karachi that the gas load-shedding would halt during sehri and iftar.
“We cannot provide gas 24 hours as our reserves have dropped,” he added.
The issue of gas load-shedding in Karachi caught Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s attention recently, and he directed relevant officials to ensure an uninterrupted supply of the commodity.
According to The News International, he stated that the gas delivery process should be monitored and that no neglect should be tolerated.
Owing to the growing gap between supply and demand for gas, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) stated last week that it will suspend shipments to captive power plants and industries.
The gas utility stated that the decision was made due to a lack of gas supply. According to the report, the volume of gas in pipes has reduced due to a decrease in supply.
According to a report in The News International, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) called for immediate government action in response to the shortage of gas supply to Karachi industries, claiming that the industries could not function without gas and would be forced to halt production.
“It’s highly unfair to have such an attitude towards Karachi’s business community which, despite facing so many odds and challenges, contributes around 54 per cent in terms of exports and more than 68 per cent in terms of revenue,” KCCI president Muhammad Tariq Yousuf said. While talking to journalists, Malik said his visit to Karachi was based on resolving the gas supply issue that the people are facing and urged them to ensure payment of their utility bills. “The gas bill of the rich and poor has been separated; rich people will have to pay more now,” the minister said.