- Parliamentary secretary says Pakistan has resources to complete gas project
- ‘PM decides to give 1m new gas connections’
ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Division Raja Javed Akhlas on Friday apprised the National Assembly that work could not be initiated on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, also known as the peace pipeline, so far due to international sanction on the Islamic Republic.
The bilateral project is an under-construction 2,775-kilometre pipeline to deliver natural gas to Pakistan from Iran. Responding to a Calling Attention Notice, the parliamentary secretary said that the past government of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) inked the gas agreement in the last month of its tenure.
“We could not initiate work on the (gas pipeline) project so far due to international sanction on Iran,” he said, adding that Pakistan has own resources to complete the project once Iran completed laying the pipeline on its soil. In Pakistan, the length of the pipeline is 785 kilometres. The route may be changed if China will participate in the project.
To a question, Javed Akhlas refuted the impression that Iran had filed a case regarding the project. He also said that work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) was in progress. The trans-Afghanistan pipeline will transport natural gas from the Galkynysh Gas Field in Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India.
To a Calling Attention Notice moved by Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho and others regarding non-provision of new gas connections to the consumers of the Sindh province, he said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has decided to give one million new domestic gas connections to the consumers across the country.
He said that the cabinet approved the policy in 2013 to provide gas connection purely on merit. He said that there was no discretionary quota of anyone including the prime minister, any minister or MNA. He said that the connections were strictly being provided on merit basis. Since 2007, he said that there were total 1.9 million consumers of the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and now number of connections was surged to 2.89 million.
He said that the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited received around 80,000 to 100,000 application for new connections every year. He said that the company was providing new gas connection to the consumers in just 45 days. As many as 15,000 to 20,000 gas connection applications were pending with SSGCL, he said.
He said that some 2.2 million applications were pending in Punjab with the Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL). Under the Article 158, priority was being given to the areas where new gas reserves were discovered, he said, adding that the commercial and the industrial gas connections were also being provided after import of RLNG.