ISLAMABAD: A sub-body of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has authorised Interstate Gas Systems (ISGS) to sign the Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with Turkmenistan on May 23, as a step forward in the implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
The sub-body also reiterated directions to complete the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project within the scheduled time, in spite of external pressures.
A government official said that representatives from Pakistan, India and Afghanistan will congregate from May 23 to 25 in Turkmenistan for a meeting of the Steering Committee on the TAPI gas pipeline.
The meeting was held in the offices of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources chaired by its Minister, Dr Asim Hussain. The meeting was also attended by Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani, Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali, Minster for Privatization Ghous Bux Khan Mahar, Minister for Textile Industry Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Nadeemul Haq.
Pakistan and India have already finalised the GSPA with Turkmenistan. Pakistan has finalised gas price at 70% parity of crude oil. Earlier, Afghanistan had refused its share of gas under the TAPI agreement and insisted, instead, to receive the transit fee only.
“Now, Afghanistan is negotiating a GSPA with Turkmenistan, and the situation will become clear within the next few days,” an official said.
According to a statement issued here, the Committee deliberated an agenda which comprised matters relating to the TAPI and IP gas pipeline projects.
The Committee expressed its satisfaction on overall progress on the IP project and resolved to implement the project as per agreed timelines. The committee directed the Ministry of Petroleum and ISGS to ensure all efforts for timely completion of the project.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2012.
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