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CM Sindh says allocation of gas to SEZs except Khairpur is illegal

KARACHI: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday sent a message to the federal government that the provision of gas by the Sui Southern Gas Corporation Limited to any special economic zones in Sindh other the one in Khairpur is illegal and unfair.

The message was delivered by Chairperson Sindh Board of Investment (SBOI) Ms Naheed Memon to Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources in meeting with Chairman SSGC in Islamabad.

Ms. Memon said that message from CM Sindh is very clear, that unless the Council of Common Interests (CCI) submits a policy to implement Article 158, any sanction of gas to special economic zones is illegal.

Article 158 prioritises the requirements of natural gas, and stipulates that the province well-ahead of natural gas has precedence over other parts of the country in meeting the necessary requirements.

“Unless the CCI submits a policy to implement Article 158, any sanction of gas to any SEZ other than Khairpur is illegal and unjustified,” Ms Memon apprised the meeting.

READ MORE: CM Murad vows to protect rights of people of Sindh

Chairperson SBOI said that the Sindh government considers it as a grave miscarriage of justice on the allocation of gas to Sindh, and a gross violation of Article 158.

She conveyed the message that it is appalling that the ministry of petroleum is considering to roll back the 18th amendment just to control gas supply and give priority to Punjab and the federal capital.

She reminded that the allocation of gas to the provinces is clearly enshrined in the constitution of 1973, and was not added as part of constitution through 18th Amendment.

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 Ms. Memon said allocation of gas to any SEZ outside Sindh would not be accepted, and the ministry should not entertain any gas connection request until gas is provided to the SEZ at khairpur.

She said that the first three SEZs of the country are located in Sindh and were notified in 2014 and still await the provision of gas.

It may be reminded that CM Sindh has been in a conflict with SSGC after the company refused to provide gas to a power plant in Nooriabad.

CM Sindh warned the company to pack its bags from the province, and said that the company was acting on the behest of certain federal ministers.




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