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Petroleum ministry pushing country to dark ages?:PEW

Dr Murtaza MughalLahore: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said Pakistan continues to march towards dark ages in absence of any concrete effort to resolve energy crisis by the authorities concerned that has left millions out of work and brought economy to the brink.

Petroleum ministry continue to keep critical energy issue on the back burner while trying to get approval of controversial projects aimed at personal welfare, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

By ignoring implementation of viable projects to overcome energy shortages the politicians and advisers have initiated controversial projects that will not provide any relief to masses, he said.

He said that all objectionable activities of politicians and bureaucracy are going unchecked which will leave masses to face the consequences of their actions for decades.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the situation become graver with failure of the authorities to check losses resulted from theft of electricity and gas amounting to Rs 170 billion per annum. Main reason behind pilferage is lack of accountability and appointment of top officials on political bases, he added.
Giving example of questionable decisions, the President of PEW said that a gas block in Dear Bugti containing double gas than Sui was given to OGDCL ignoring merit which failed to extract any gas since last sixteen years.

During harsh winter, gas load management results in suspended or curtailed supply to power stations, fertiliser and industrial sector and CNG stations in the name of ensuring uninterrupted supply to residential consumers which proved a trick, he said.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that forcing masses to rely on costly LPG and harmful firewood and coal briquettes for cooking and heating is result of the wrong policies and incompetent management of the gas companies.

Pakistan remains one of the very few countries using clean gas to run power plants, a decision made by Gen (Retd) Musharraf which the incumbent goverenmt failed to reverse.

The failure of the government to secure sustainable, dedicated and affordable energy supplies has resulted in closure of hundreds of units and unemployment of millions which is leading to unrest.

Democracy is useless if it forces masses to commit suicides and put very survival of country at stake, Dr. Mughal noted.

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