Pakistan, Iran expected to hold talks on IP pipeline next month.
The government has announced that it will suspend gas supply to all sectors for two months early next year in an attempt to ensure uninterrupted supply to domestic consumers during peak winter season.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said they had decided to continue gas supply to compressed natural gas (CNG) and industrial sectors in December.
“However, gas will not be provided to all sectors in January and February to ensure continuous supply to the domestic sector,” Abbasi said while talking to the media after a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources. “We will review the gas load management plan on a weekly basis.”
He said the recent deal among Iran, the United States and other world powers would have a positive impact on the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project and now international companies would be able to participate in financing and constructing the project.
Abbasi declared that Pakistan would not pull out of the project and the two countries were expected to hold talks next month.
Senator Muhammad Yousuf, while chairing the Senate committee meeting earlier, reviewed mineral shipments by a Chinese firm from the Saindak project in Balochistan. The committee also discussed the transfer of Saindak Metal Company to Balochistan.
Committee member Abdul Nabi Bangash said gas worth billions of rupees was being extracted from different areas in Balochistan including Tal and Sui, however, it was not being provided to the locals. He blamed bureaucracy for creating hurdles in the way of executing different projects.
He argued that the government had billions of rupees for laptop schemes, but had no funds for gas schemes. He called for stopping crude oil and gas supply from Tal block if gas schemes were not launched for the local people. “I will become like Akbar Bugti if gas schemes are not launched,” he warned.
The petroleum minister responded that they could not tackle the bureaucracy and the prime minister had no discretionary funds now to launch the schemes.
Petroleum Secretary Abid Saeed said they had sent a summary to the prime minister for the transfer of Saindak copper and gold project to Balochistan. At present, the federal government owns the project.
Saindak Metal Company Managing Director Raziq Sanjrani said the prime minister would decide whether to waive the investment made by the federal government in the Saindak project.