ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) President Dr. Murtaza Mughal has questioned the federal cabinet’s decision of lifting the ban on new gas connections by terming it a flawed step, ARY News reported.
PEW President has said in a statement that lifting moratorium on new domestic and industrial gas connections has raised questions about government’s earlier policies and power sector efficiency.
“Government inked agreements of importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) first and sought customers in the aftermath of agreements which is against common practice of striking a deal with customers first and then going for import agreements”, he said while calling the initiative as first mistake made by the government.
Dr. Murtaza said that the ban, which was imposed in 2011, lifted at a time when supply of imported LNG has significantly increased while its demand remained at disappointing level for being the fuel expensive.
The government has planned three new LNG-based power plants in Punjab which would push up the number of gas-based power plants to eleven requiring 1127 mmcfd of LNG. However, none of the said power plants were working according to capacity, he added.
Giving perspective to the decision of lifting gas supply ban, Dr. Mughal said that the government in a bid to avoid breach of LNG import agreements and consequent penalty upon withdrawal has lifted the ban on new gas connections.