Authorities in Punjab will pull the plug off gas supply to industries in the province between the month of December and February, Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Friday.
The move is aimed at ensuring gas supply to domestic users.
“Piped gas will be available to only households in Punjab during winter as per the government’s gas management plan,” the minister told the British Broadcasting Corporation.
“The industries include fertiliser manufacturers, CNG sector and power generation units. No one except domestic consumers will get gas,” he told the BBC.
In the other three provinces the government will try to meet the demand of the CNG and industrial sector.
Abbasi made it clear that despite shutting gas to industry there was no assurance of uninterrupted supply of the vital heating and cooking fuel to households in Punjab during winter.
“If it gets too cold and the demand for gas for heating also shoots up, there is a likelihood of disruption in supply for a few days,” he said.
He said according to Constitution, the province that produces gas has the first right over it. Balochistan is the top producer of gas followed by Sindh. Punjab does not produce gas therefore it gets more supply cuts.
Abbasi said domestic consumers have priority over industry in gas supply. “If people have objections, they can challenge the gas supply priorities in the Supreme Court,” the minister said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2013.
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