Cabinet decides to ensure uninterrupted gas and power supply to domestic consumers

Islamabad: The federal cabinet which met here Wednesday with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in the chair decided in principle to ensure provision of uninterrupted gas and power supply to the domestic consumers.

During the meeting, the prime minister directed the ministry of petroleum and natural resources to ensure gas supply to the domestic consumers. In this regard, any negligence from any quarter will not be tolerated.

Later briefing newsmen about the cabinet decisions, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said it has been decided that gas supply to the industries, cement, fertilizers and thermal generation plants will remain suspended during the month of January to provide relief to the domestic consumers. However, the understanding reached with the CNG sector will be implemented.

The federal minister pointed out that Balochistan produces 17 percent of gas while its consumption stands at seven percent. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa produces nine percent gas while its consumption is seven percent.

Sindh produces sixty nine percent and its consumption is forty one percent. Punjab produces five percent while its consumption is forty five percent.

Keeping in view the gas demand of Punjab province, a committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Minister for Petroleum and Natural resources to hold dialogue with the Sindh government and their industries so that sufficient gas from Sindh could be shifted to Punjab to keep the industries in Punjab functional for some days on gas.

The committee has been asked to submit its report within one week. The Minister informed the media persons that Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani will soon inaugurate gas field in Kunar Kosaki which will add 100 million cubic feet gas in the system.

The cabinet meeting also decided to expedite the process of import of LNG to meet the demand and supply gap by resorting to alternative resources. Besides steps will be initiated to conserve energy and avoid gas pilferage.

In this connection, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting said the parliament has already passed a legislation and strict action will be taken against the individual or the industry found involved in the gas pilferage.

She said Sui Northern and Southern gas pipelines limited have also been instructed to maintain financial discipline and take steps to avert leakages. All this will ultimately help extend relief to the domestic consumers.

The Minister said the Minister of Petroleum and Natural resources also proposed some reforms for the gas sector. These have been referred to the energy committee to address the problems in way of its implementation.

The cabinet agreed that unscheduled power load shedding would not be tolerated and priority would be given to domestic consumers.

The cabinet noted that that the government is giving a subsidy of twenty five billion rupees in energy sector every month. It directed the parliamentary committee on energy to give recommendations how to control power shortage in the country.

The cabinet was told that one thousand and two hundred megawatts electricity would be added to the national grid to meet growing demand for power.

Minister for Information regretted politics on the matter of energy crisis saying it is only adding to the woes of the people.

She said that the right of expression was misused. Despite demonstrations and inflicting losses to public property, the government has not arrested a single individual.

The cabinet has constituted a committee to give relief to farmers in purchasing tractors to enhance agricultural out puts.

The cabinet was informed that inflation has come down to single digit during the last one year.

Rates of food items have reduced to nine point seven percent in December 2011 as compared to fifteen point five percent in 2010.

The cabinet decided for early procurement of sugar to avoid its crisis and ensure its availability at the utility stores outlet at cheaper rates. It also endorsed the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee regarding Urea.

The Prime Minister directed that inflation should be further reduced to give relief to common man.

The cabinet also constituted a committee to decide about the purchase of seventy five locomotives for Pakistan Railways.

The cabinet also decided that any individual drawing salary from the national exchequer will declare and make public his assets.

The cabinet also gave approval for signing of agreements with different countries including Kazakhstan, Mexico and Lithuania in different fields.

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