Political scuffle and gas problem

Central Information Secretary Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian & MNA, Shazia Atta Marri grilled the incumbent Prime Minister and calling him “undemocratic” in a media interaction at Karachi Press Club on Monday. She accused the Prime Minister for ruling the country in dictatorial manner and unwilling to hold general elections in Pakistan after five-year term. She responded angerly on the Prime Minister recent comment, in which he said that Sindh is not their province. While commenting on the new gas supply policy of the federal government she remarked that the federal government has announced that the gas supply to all the industries that run on the Captive Power Plant will be cut off. She was of the view that this decision of federal government will handicap countries industrial sector and economy. She also highlighted the gas supply issues to domestic consumers, who are being affected severely due to load management. She rejected the recent increase in oil prices, while arguing that government has increased Rs. 9 in one month, which is unjustifiable.

A political scuffle is going on between the Federal government of PTI, its representatives in the province and PPP’s government in Sindh during last several months. The rift started by, Sindh government refusal to allow construction on Bundal Island by federal government and strategy on coronavirus pandemic. Recently, there was exchange of hard words between Federal Minister Ali Zaidi and CM Murad Shah in a meeting. The current point of confrontation was the decision by the Federal Government to cut off the gas supply to all the industries that run on the captive power plant production, to meet the short fall in coming months. The Provincial government is in the view that the termination of the gas supply to the industrial sector will plunge the industrial sector particularly export industries back to their dark days.

If we recall our memory about a month ago, few sections of Pakistani media were continuously highlighting the issues regarding the arrangements for provision of LNG for country’s usage during the months of February and March 2021. According to reports, Ministry of Energy Petroleum Division concluded contracts with private firms for provision of LNG, on short notice, which resulted in huge cost and less quantity. This constrain in gas supply was forecasted by the experts well before time.

PTI government has completed half of its term and reached at a stage where it should deliver in more comprehensive and better way instead of such mismanagement in routine operations of LNG acquirement and provision of wheat or sugar other commodities. These lapses created embarrassment for top leadership and results in misperception about the government.