Government to complete Iran Gas Pipeline project after removal of international sanctions – Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Islamabad: There are many misperceptions on the intentions of government about Iran gas pipeline project, however, international sanctions on Iran are main hurdle to make any progress on this project and if international sanctions are removed, Pakistan could complete this project within 30 months.

This was said by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources, while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He said Iran has been asked to revise timeline of the project in view of sanctions.

He said there are also many complications in Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project and enhancing domestic production of gas is our main focus.

For this purpose, gas policy has been revised, 50 blocks have been auctioned and more will be auctioned to improve domestic gas production. He said government is also focusing on shale gas.

He said due to supply and demand of gap, import of LNG is the only short-term solution and efforts are afoot for a terminal to handle 400 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) LNG which will save USD1.2billion per year.

He said no proper planning was done during the previous years to cope with rising demand of gas, but the government is committed to bridge this gap within shortest possible time by utilizing all options.

He said entrepreneurs are the engine of growth and no economy could develop without promotion of business and industry. He said government will take all possible measures to provide gas facility to industry.

We are working to ensure efficient utilization of gas to improve its maximum availability. He said with the improvement in availability of gas, ban on new connections will go. He said government is focusing on deregulation to minimize its role & interference in business activities so that businessmen could take the lead in economic development of the country. He assured the local business community that their problems will be resolved on priority.

In his welcome address, Shaban Khalid, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry highlighted the various issues of trade and industry. He said discrimination in gas supply to industries should be eliminated and all industries should be treated at part in gas supply.

He said manufacturing industry improves productivity and creates more jobs and gas supply should be ensured to this industry which will help in generating more tax revenue and improving the economy.

He said gas pressure to industry should also be improved as usage of compressors by certain sectors to extract more gas causes low gas pressure for industry.

He said government should take measures to crack down on all illegal networks, activities and gas theft, which will improve gas availability.

He said usage of gas facility in residential areas for commercial activities should be monitored to save unnecessary of consumption.

He said ICCI fully supports action against gas thieves, but in certain cases, consumers are heavily overcharged on account of defective meters while they are at no fault and gas department should revise its policy to deal with defective meter cases to ensure that no injustice is done to the consumers.

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