Adviser Asim must tender resignation
Many sector experts were unable to understand sudden and substantial short fall in natural gas availability.
There were suspicions that gas was being diverted to some ‘privileged group of consumers’ by keeping CNG stations closed for longer duration.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain kept on saying that the government wanted people to use petrol instead on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in their vehicles to meet the demand of industrial units. However, consumers’ plea is simple ‘give us a cheap alternative fuel’ because running vehicles on gas and high speed diesel is too punitive.
Ghyas Paracha, Chairman, All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has opened the Pandora’s Box by making specific allegations against the Adviser and asked him to tender his resignation. The allegations are:
1) Dr Asim Hussain is responsible for the gas crisis which has been created to justify expensive imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and setting up LPG air mix plants in the country.
2) Just to ensure that the Captive Power Plants (CPPs) of 112 top rich families in the country continue to get gas; Ministry of Petroleum has created a scenario to shut down CNG stations in Punjab for two month.
3) Gas supply to CNG stations has been suspended to ensure continuous supply of gas to most inefficient CPPs owned by the textile mills, adding, which is in violation of the nine month supply contract with them.
4) The gas supply to CNG stations has been suspended to provide an opportunity to the local agents of international oil suppliers to pocket money through enhanced imports of petrol.
5) Suspension of gas supply of CNG stations was illegal as no load management plan has been approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).
While the Ministry, Adviser and even SSGC and SNGPL may come up with any justification, one is forced to arrive at the conclusion that there is some connivance between the rulers and ever strong lobby of owners of textile mills. Textile tycoons are famous for taking good care of ruling junta, which is not possible for the owners of CNG stations, except for those owned by ruling elites.
Masses have reasons to believe in the allegations leveled against Dr Asim by Paracha. In the past the sitting Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was also accused of obliging the owners of rental power plants (RPPs), which led to recovery of billions of rupees advanced to the owners of RPPs. The litigation is going on Raja’s name is still on exit control list.
Now the Adviser has two options: 1) submit proof to establish that the allegations leveled against are incorrect or 2) submit his resignation. The prudence demands that Adviser must not remain in this position till he is proved ‘not guilty’.