Gas supply on full capacity is vital to the industrial sector: Mian Zahid Hussain

KARACHI – Businessmen Panel Pakistan’s senior vice chairman and former provincial minister Sindh, Mian Zahid Hussain and Presidential candidate of BMP, former chief minister Balochistan Allauddin Marri while talking to the business community said that the decision of initiating work of 1813 KMs Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) gas pipeline in March 2019 is appreciative. The project will create 10 thousand new jobs in the Country. The leadership of all four countries are proposed to participate in the occasion, which again is very encouraging for the growth of terms between the leadership of the regional countries and will help in increased regional trade.

Leaders of the Businessmen Panel said that regional projects like TAPI not only partake in regional peace and prosperity but also promote newer ways of regional trade and increased ties between the participating countries. TAPI will create new employment opportunities in all four countries and energy crisis will be curbed in all countries, which will help industrial growth, industrial production and exports.

BMP Leaders said that initially 27 MMCFD gas will be supplied through this pipeline which will be increased to 33 MMCFD after one year; 3 MMCFD gas would be supplied on daily basis. Pakistan and India will have share of 42 percent each in the gas supplied from Turkmenistan while Afghanistan’s share would be 16 percent. The gas tariff received through TAPI will be lower than the LPG and beneficiaries will be able to provide gas to the industrial sector on competitive price thus the cost of doing business will be reduced increasing the profitability of the industrial sector. Currently, Pakistan’s daily demand supply gap is 2 MMCFD which will widen to 4 MMCFD by 2025. TAPI to be completed with investment of $ 9 billion will help Pakistan in curbing the demand supply gap and the declining industries will get on their feet again.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the project is equally beneficial to all countries. Turkmenistan’s economy is largely dependent on gas supply and its major buyers were Russia and Iran; both countries stopped buying gas in 2016 and 2017 respectively on conflicts of price and payment, this project will restore and even increase Turkmenistan gas exports. Afghanistan will get 5 MMCFD of gas in addition to $ 400 million transit revenue on yearly basis.

Allauddin Marri said that gas scarcity will be curbed in Pakistan and India and gas proportion will be increased in the energy mix of both countries, reducing cost of doing business and increased industrial production. To get maximum out of the project, it is vital to make fool proof security system for the project, he added.

BMP Leaders said that gas supply to the industrial sector across Country, specifically in Karachi on full capacity is vital for sustained industrial production in order to avoid dependency on imports; concrete and instant measure should be taken by the government. With reduction in gas supply to industrial units, production capacity will be left unutilized causing higher cost, lower profits and above all the labourers will left helpless with reduced employment and wages, which is not acceptable at all.