This is apropos of statement given by Mr Aijaz Chaudhri, Secretary, and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources before the National Assembly’s standing committee for Petroleum and Natural resources on Monday February 27th, 2012. The Secretary has tried to create false impression before the committee that the Government’s Gas Development program, whereby the distribution network is extended to new towns and villages, is a major reason of gas shortages in the country.

There is no doubt that the proportion of gas supply to domestic sector has been increasing. A closer analysis will however tell that it is not due to the fresh connections provided to more towns and villages but it is more on account of the addition of consumers in the mega cities. To give an example, SSGC offers 100,000 new domestic connections every year. It may be pointed out that the total number of connections provided to some 400 new towns and villages from 2008 to 2011 in Sindh and Balochistan, in last three years is 25,000 as against 3,00,000 provided in the same period in Karachi, Hyderabad and other major cities. Thus the growth in the domestic sector is due to large number of connections being provided in the big cities and not because of extending benefit of natural gas to small undeveloped villages of Pakistan.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources should stop blaming the small towns and villages for the gas shortages. The inefficiencies of these companies where SSGC looses almost 100 mmcf  and SNGPL looses 250 mmcf of gas every day is due to leaking lines, theft and mismanagement which need to be focused on.

AMIR AHMED SIDIKI,

Karachi, March 6.