ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Petroleum has floated a proposal of one-day weekly gas holiday for the whole industry to overcome gas shortage in winter and ensure its uninterrupted supply to the domestic consumers. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Monday briefed the Economic Monitoring Committee on Natural Gas Load Management Programme for winter 2008-09. Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Syed Naveed Qamar, chaired the meeting. The Load Management Programme has been finalized after taking into account input from all stakeholders and focusing sectoral consumption in terms of volume and percentage. The domestic sector has been proposed to remain un-impacted. The proposed Natural Gas Load Management Programme after the EMC concurrence will be presented to the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet for final approval. The programme envisages first priority for domestic and commercial sectors followed by the industrial sector. Total gas consumption demand during December, first month of the peak period, is estimated at 2567 MMCFD. The gas consumption forecast, based on adjustable shortfall, has been proposed to address through readjustments amongst various sectors taking into consideration national priorities. The programme takes into account sectoral consumption trends, demand and supply projections, peak consumption analysis and sectoral measures for load management. The programme reflects maximum consumption during peak winter season for domestic, industrial and commercial users. The Petroleum Ministry briefed the EMC that outstanding Price Differential Claim is only amounted to Rs 40 billion, which had gone beyond Rs 150 billion. The government was still providing Rs 100 million daily subsidy on petroleum products, it added. The subsidy on diesel is Rs 6.60 per liter. However, the government did not disclose how much it was earning on account of taxes on petroleum products, which, according to some estimates, is much higher than the subsidy. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock briefed the EMC that it expected a bumper production of 6.2 million tones of basmati rice during the next season that would adequately meet domestic consumption requirements. The Ministry will thereafter fix the Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) of rice after approval from the ECC. The Ministry of Industries told the EMC that 3rd shipment of 24000 tones fertilizer has arrived in Karachi and the available stock position was satisfactory. The stocks have been released from Karachi to the distribution points throughout the country, which come to a total of 45831 metric tones available on all approved sales outlets.