KARACHI: There should be no curtailment of gas for the agriculture sector as it is a necessity for producing urea. President of Sindh Chamber of Agriculture Dr Nadeem Qamar demanded this while addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday.
Independent power plants (IPPs) should use alternative sources like furnace oil or coal instead of gas for generating electricity. He said that curtailing the quota of natural gas for the fertiliser sector is unjust to farmers, adding the electricity generation sector should not benefit at the cost of farmers and agriculture. He said that if the government had no choice but to go ahead with curtailing gas supply to the fertiliser sector, then it should also absorb additional production cost of fertiliser instead of transferring it to the farmers.
“Units which cannot use liquid fuels should be asked to revamp their infrastructure to consume liquid fuels in the next few months so that gas shortage is avoided in the coming winter,” he added. Dr Nadeem Qamar asked the government to take some immediate steps to resolve the issue and ask IPPs and Pepco’s generating units to use liquid fuels like furnace oil instead of natural gas.
Pakistan is an agricultural country and if government promotes agriculture sector the GDP ratio of the country would be raised from 6 to 8, he said. He said that power cut of fertiliser units has increased the rates of urea besides hoarders would sell urea at exorbitant prices. Sowing of cotton is underway in Pakistan and due to power cut Sindh could not cultivate a good crop this year, he warned, adding that in the past Sindh had produced more crop of cotton as compared to Punjab. He asked the fertiliser sector to immediately withdraw price increase as soon as the gas curtailment ends.