Pakistan energy minister blames legal hitch for domestic gas woes

Islamabad: Amid the ongoing energy woes in the country, Pakistan’s Federal Energy Minister has blamed the legal hitch for its inability to meet domestic gas needs.

Speaking at a state-owned broadcaster, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said domestic consumers’ gas needs in winter are met by curtailing supply to non-export general industries and captive power plants. However this year the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued a stay order on the curtailment, the minister added.

Azhar said there were some complaints of low gas pressure at the tail end of the transmission network, but there were certain reasons for the shortage of the commodity supply to domestic consumers in Karachi, Dawn newspaper reported.

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The minister told the media that gas companies had been making all-out efforts to ensure good management of gas supply to domestic consumers despite serious constraints such as depletion of existing natural gas reserves and high demand in the peak winter season.

According to the minister, the gas demand of domestic consumers had increased by 3 to 5 per cent in the winter season, which was met by curtailing the supply to other sectors as per the priority list set by the government.

Experts say that people in Pakistan don’t have enough to cook their daily meals because successive governments handed out gas connections like sweet cakes.

Gas has typically been cheap and readily available however, Pakistanis are now struggling to cope with hours-long gas outages, according to Turkish Radio and Television (TRT).

Notably, household consumers in the country have also seen a sharp increase in their monthly bills.

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