KARACHI, Mar 28: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has written a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif alleging that Punjab its usurping Sindh’s share of gas.
The letter mentions a widely circulated news report which states that the federal government has relaxed a moratorium which prevented the expansion of gas provision schemes, and has approved 97 gas projects worth more than Rs37 billion, mostly located in Punjab.
The letter states that Punjab only produces 3 percent of gas reserves in the country while it uses 42 percent of the country’s gas. He said this was a violation of article 158 of the Constitution which accords priority to the province.
It adds that the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) is not entertaining any requests for provision of gas in Sindh citing the moratorium imposed by the federal government. The company even refused to provide gas to Khairpur Special Economic Zone. Meanwhile, it has also has refused to supply gas to nine small industrial estates for which the Sindh government has already made payments to SSGCL.
The CM complained that thousands of applications are pending for urban areas in Sindh and in rural areas SSGCL has still been unable to complete projects which were funded by the Sindh government in 2012.
The CM requested the Prime Minister to lift the moratorium and avoid diverting natural gas from Sindh.
Punjab faces extensive gas load shedding especially during the winter season when consumption increases for heating purposes. Citizens complain of up to six hours of load shedding every day.