The government’s policy regarding CNG has proved a total failure. Neither consumers, nor the dealers are satisfied with it. Long queues of vehicles at the pumps, too many closures and failure to fix an acceptable price; have increased sufferings of consumers to the extreme and caused heavy losses to the business. Hundreds of factories are lying shut for want of gas. Chairman Senate Nayyar Bukhari reprimanded Petroleum Advisor Dr Asim Hussain over his failure to resolve the CNG price issue. Bukhari said people had been waiting in long lines for fifty days and he (Dr Asim) had not been able to prepare the price formula. The Chairman Senate added that the government not the judiciary was responsible for determining price of CNG. When Dr Asim tried to present his stance on the issue, Bukhari stopped him from speaking in the Senate. Senator Raza Rabbani also expressed his anger over the CNG price issue and said the CNG cartel was challenging the writ of the government. “If terrorism cases can be registered against workers, why can they not be registered against CNG owners,” Rabbani said. On the other hand some of the CNG owners were of the opinion that Dr Asim Hussain was deliberately dragging on the price issue so as to pass the winter season when gas shortage is being witnessed and he wants to hide his failure to meet the energy demand. They expressed their resentment as to why the Advisor on Petroleum and Natural resources was not being removed despite his failure. It may be mentioned here that the power generation has plunged to a historic low and is even below the level achieved in 2009, despite the fact that over 3,000MW were added afterwards, according to official figures. Current estimates regarding the size of the gap between demand and supply stand at 5,000MW but the Ministry of Water and Power denies this. Official figures show that peak power generation plunged to 9,500MW and off-peak to 7,500MW on January 6. Officials said that Pakistan managed to produce more electricity in 2009 as compared to the present level of generation. The idle capacity of independent producers has been estimated at over 3,000MW, while total thermal generation capacity nosedived to less than 7,000MW due to unavailability of fuel, they said. Owing to peculiar hydrological conditions, the hydel power generation fell to 2,000MW during the peak demand and plummeted to just 1,000MW during non-peak hours. Electrical supply has faltered by over one-third of the demand. The gap between demand and supply has widened to over 5,000MW, said the officials. Therefore, changes should be made in the present team formulating and managing gas distribution policy. Incompetent persons and those serving vested interests should be replaced with honest and efficient ones.
-Published on page#8 in January-2013 issue of MOBILE WORLD Magazine