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Government to lift ban on new gas connections in Balochistan

The incumbent government has decided to lift the ban on gas connections that had been imposed by the previous government

The incumbent government has decided to lift the ban on new gas connections to Balochistan’s industrial gas consumers. The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) is expected to decide on the matter.

It had been noted that there was a growing gap between the demand and supply of natural gas in Pakistan. The previous government had enacted a moratorium on new industrial and commercial gas connections across the country due to the deepening shortage.

New gas connections to be allowed

The Petroleum Division subsequently held a meeting on January 30, 2020, chaired by the energy minister, to discuss the policy related to gas provision to industrial/captive power consumers in Balochistan.

Read more: Mari petroleum diversification strategy takes it into the mineral excavation in Balochistan.

After detailed discussions, it was decided that a five-member committee would decide/approve the industrial gas connections for Balochistan.

Firstly the committee will formulate new criteria for approving the new connections to eliminate the possibility of any discretionary decision.

The Petroleum Division secretary and but will still chair the committee will also include Balochistan energy secretary, Balochistan industries secretary, Petroleum Division DG gas, and Sui Southern Gas Company senior general manager distribution.

Read more: Government on a mission to recover Rs334b from gas, electricity consumers

Earlier, the system was less localized and democratic since it was the federal energy minister that ultimately decided the approval of gas connections even within Balochistan, the province where the gas comes from.

APCNGA lauds governments efforts

Last month, the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) had lauded the incumbent government’s efforts to promote the usage of compressed natural gas (CNG) to tackle pollution, import costs, and further employment opportunities.

In a statement, APCNGA Central Chairman Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha’s government commended the government’s steps for facilitating CNG pump owners, including the removal of a ban on setting up new CNG stations.

“Now Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has started issuing licenses for new CNG outlets to those who fulfill all formalities, while the ban on import of CNG kits has been lifted and import duty, as well as sales tax, has been slashed to promote its imports,” the statement read.

 GVS News Desk