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Gas & electricity issues being fixed: Hammad Azhar

PTI government has taken a number of steps to resolve energy issues, believes Hammad Azhar.

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Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar Friday said the government had brought the much-needed reforms to streamline the matters related to pricing of the imported gas for the domestic sector, new electricity generation contracts through a competitive and transparent process.

Elaborating the two key energy reforms, the minister tweeted that the law allowing “the government to price in imported gas for domestic supplies has been passed by the National Assembly and now it will be sent to the Senate.”

Describing the law as a ‘historic and much-needed reform,’ he said it would help ensure the energy security of the country.

Besides, the minister said a few months ago the government passed the IGCEP (Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan) framework from the Council of Common Interests.

The framework, he said “ensures that the government will only sign new contracts for electricity when required and only through a competitive and transparent process. This too is a key reform away from the previous practice of controversial procurements.”

Urea production is over 200k tonnes

Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar revealed that Pakistan produced more than 200 thousand tonnes of urea. The increase in production comes owing to the modification in Priority Order of gas allocations.

Moreover, the minister noted that the high production levels saved around $200 million in import substitution.

Read more: Hammad Azhar challenges top anchorperson to a debate on gas crisis

“Last month, cabinet modified Priority Order of gas allocations by bringing up Fertiliser sector. As a result of this reprioritization, more than 200k tonnes of additional urea produced already (nov + dec only) saving $200 million by import substitution. Plants still running,” Hammad Azhar tweeted.

Earlier, the government placed the domestic fertilizer sector at par with the export sector in the gas priority list for three months, i.e., till March 31st 2022. According to the Ministry of Industries and Productions (MoI&P) the fertilizer sector should receive gas supply on a priority basis due to high international prices for fertilizer and also in consideration of food security. This gas supply during the current Rabi Season 2021-22 will ensure the production of urea domestically.

Read more: Farmers benefit from locally produced 60pc cheaper urea

After detailed discussions, Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved the proposal of MoI&P to place the fertilizer sector, at par with the export sector.

APP with additional input by GVS News Desk