LAHORE - The business community has urged the government to enhance import of gas volume being imported through Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline which is at presently just 13 per cent of the total gas production of the country.

The government has inked Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline agreement according to which the initial capacity of the pipeline will be 22 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum, which is expected to be later raised to 55 billion cubic meters. This gas quantity will fulfil only the present requirement of the country, bridging the industry’s current demand and supply gap of energy, observed noted industrialist Abdul Basit.

The LCCI former SVP suggested the government to also pursue the Iranian authorities to increase the gas quantity in the said agreement in view of our future energy demands, besides seeking more avenues of energy.

He said that the work on this multi-million dollar project is stalled for unknown reasons and he is unable to understand the causes of the delay in this highly beneficial project of national importance when the gas pricing formula had already agreed in 2009 and Tehran and Islamabad had also inked the final agreement to launch the project by Spring 2014.

He said that the Iranian government had already completed its part of the project and if Pakistani authorities show some interest, the pipeline would complete much earlier than the stipulated period, which is actually need of the hour. He said that the severest-ever shortage of gas in the country calls for extraordinary measures on war footing and the people sitting at the helm of affairs should gear up their efforts for the early completion of the project.

He said that there a huge number of industries where the gas is basic raw material and due to its acute shortage there would be no work in these units while the graph of unemployment would go up further.