LAHORE: Appreciating the judicious decision of natural gas rationing for domestic consumers, the business community has urged the government to make this prudent decision a permanent feature throughout the year as 50 percent of total gas in Pakistan is consumed by households, which is one of major hindrances in economic growth of the country.
Talking to a delegation of industrialists and traders led by Ch Jawad Hafeez, which called on him here on Sunday, Coordinator to Federal Tax Ombudsman Meher Kashif Younis lamented the domestic sector gas consumption has grown 13 percent over the years- maximum growth among all the sectors, a third largest energy source in the world.
He said in most of developed countries, a single energy source is provided at the domestic and commercial levels to make best use for industrial and agricultural sectors whereas in Pakistan both resources power and gas is supplied at household level badly hampering economic growth especially during peak winter season.
Meher Kashif Younis said Pakistan is the most gas-intense country in the world and has less than one percent share in world gas consumption which are met through imported and indigenous resources. He said natural gas and LNG contribute more than 40 percent to the country’s current energy mix including gas used in power generation.
He said it’s unfortunate, gas in Pakistan is sold even below its cost which has caused colossal loss to gas companies. He said now it’s high time that government must ensure first uninterrupted supply to industries and agriculture sector followed by commercial and domestic consumers as practiced globally to strengthen the fragile economy.
He said on the other hand government must educate and persuade the people to use other alternative resources for household needs and allocate their share to industry which will bring prosperity in the country.
The Coordinator to Federal Tax Ombudsman said industry is backbone of the economy and all out incentives are offered to industry to contribute towards accelerating economic growth and social development in every sphere of life.
He said industries are engine of growth and power and gas are lifeline.
Meher Kashif Younis said disruption of energy supplies from the world’s largest supplier Russia is resulting in a hike in energy prices throughout the world. He said this a significant setback for an oil importing country like Pakistan, thereby shrinking the country’s purchasing power even more.
He cautioned that Pakistan is facing a severe gas shortage and urgently needs to carefully assess its strategic position in the global and regional context and more informal but timely decisions that are essential for its survival.