Gas shortage makes winter difficult for Pakistanis

Gas shortage makes winter difficult for Pakistanis

Monitoring Desk

Islamabad: Consumers in Pakistan each year face gas shortage but the continuous increase in the commodity price has added to the common man’s woes.

The demand for gas increases in Pakistan’s domestic sector with the change in weather prompting protests across the country against the unavailability of gas.

Since last year the government has increased the gas prices for more than hundred percent and now the local media reports that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has asked the government to increase prices for gas consumers by up to 221 percent to take effect as of January 1.

Khalid Mustafa, energy expert and senior economist talking to IRNA, said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program is the major reason for increasing gas prices in Pakistan.

He said that government has to increase gas prices under the IMF pressure which affects domestic consumers. “They cannot even give subsidies on gas prices,” Mustafa noted.

He added that purchasing power of the common man is declining in Pakistan which is a matter of great concern.

Mustafa stated that population of the country is increasing at a very fast pace due to which the demand of gas is also increasing. He said the government has to fill the demand and supply gap through purchasing expensive LNG that is why they have to increase the gas prices.

The energy expert went on to say that the expensive gas is not only affecting Pakistan’s industry, but has made the life of domestic consumer miserable.

The economists said that the opposition can use this issue as a tool and can create political unrest in the country.

Mustafa proposed the government to look for cheap and feasible solutions to overcome energy crisis. He noted that Pakistan unfortunately could not complete IP project due to external pressures.

He said the time has come that the government should adopt independent policies for the betterment of the country.

Dr Murtaza Mughal President of Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) told IRNA that every year Pakistan faces gas crisis in winter due to poor management.  He added that Pakistan has plenty of resources but they should be properly managed.

The columnist noted there are people in the administration with vested interests who don’t want to see prosperity in Pakistan.  “These people should be expelled from important positions and punished so that Pakistan can prosper,” he said.

The economist went on to say Pakistan has to complete Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project to overcome energy crisis.

Dr Murtaza Mughal said that Pakistan government should take a firm stance on IP and inform the US that they need gas to solve energy crisis in the country.

Expressing his views, the expert said that by increasing gas prices we would not be able to control the gas crisis. He said that domestic consumers in Pakistan are already under heavy economic burden and regular increase in gas and electricity crisis would add to their woes.

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