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Centre asked to transfer shares in gas utilities to provinces [The Nation] 28 Apr, 2017

ISLAMABAD - Provinces have demanded that the federal government transfer its share in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited to the federating units while unbundling the gas utilities.

The demand came at a meeting of the gas leadership committee. The provinces insisted that the government should transfer the financial powers to them while splitting the gas companies so that they have their own boards of directors and the powers to appoint managing directors, official sources told The Nation on Wednesday. The idea was supported by Sindh, Balochsitan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the sources said.

The third meeting of the gas sector leadership committee was held here on Wednesday and discussed the unbundling of the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for IPC Riaz Pirzada, Secretary of Petroleum, Sindh Planning Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, CEO of OGCL Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and energy officials from Punjab and Balochistan.

Following the ECC decision, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MPNR) intends to unbundle SNGPL and SSGCL into two Discos and bundle the transmission system of SNGPL/SSGCL into one transmission company “National Transmission Company Ltd”. NTCL will be a transport company without owning gas, unlike NTDCL/CPPA-G. Each of the provincial gas companies may sell gas to next or beyond gas companies and consumers.

The federal government is in consultation process with the provinces regarding unbundling of SSGCL and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL). According the plan, instead of two utility companies, the government will make four gas distribution companies and merge SSGC and SNGPL into one National Gas Transmission Company (NGTC). Each province will have its own gas company. SSGC will be split into Sindh Gas Company and Balochistan Gas Company and SNGPL will be unbundled into Punjab Gas Company and KP Gas Company.

During the meeting, the KP demanded keeping the transmission and distribution together. Punjab supported the KP government and said the experience of separate transmission and distribution for NTDC and Discos was not a success. The government should therefore refrain from separating the management of the transmission and distribution of gas companies.

The provinces also demanded handing over the federal share in the gas companies to the provinces. The petroleum minister however said that the ministry had nothing to do with the shares and the provinces should directly communicate with the finance ministry in this regard, the source said. Now the provinces will write a letter to the finance ministry in this regard.


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