No more burden on Gas consumers: PM

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy wherein he directed the Ministry of Power to put off the burden of gas price increase on the consumers to provide them relief in the distressing time of the coronavirus outbreak.
Briefing the media about the decisions taken by the meeting, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the prime minister categorically directed Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan to defer the impact of the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund regarding the increase in gas prices.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, special assistants to prime minister Nadeem Babar and Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, secretary petroleum and managing directors of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and Sui Southern Gas Company.
The prime minister directed the management of both the gas supply companies to take cost cutting steps by introducing the austerity measures, reducing the line losses and theft cases to avert the burden from the consumers.
The SAPM said the prime minister also directed the heads of both the companies to introduce institutional reforms and asked the energy committee to present a reforms agenda before the Economic Coordination Committee for perusal.
She said the reforms agenda was meant to reduce the burden from gas consumers and ensure uninterrupted supply to those living in rural areas.
The prime minister also sought proposals to shift the commercial and industrial sectors to other alternate options like LNG (liquefied natural gas) or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) so that the domestic consumers could get uninterrupted supply. She said the prime minister also called for introducing a special public relief programme in the gas sector to facilitate the masses in the billing.
He also directed both the companies to establish the consumer facilitation centers to enforce the relief granted by him under his economic relief package recently announced in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.