‘Govt moving onto coal energy to balance energy mix’

ISLAMABAD: On higher demand of electricity in summer season, priority is being given to the energy sector and the government is moving on to the coal powered energy plants, which will balance the energy mix in future.
Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar meeting with a delegation led by Arif Habib Chief Executive Officer of Fatima Fertilizers said field wise status of gas supply should be evaluated and if there was additional gas which was not being utilised then cost benefit analysis of bringing that gas into the system and supply to fertilizer industry should be explored.
He said the government was working on a strategy to enhance exploration of hydrocarbons and if anyone has an out of box solutions to meet the growing natural gas demands the government would give serious thoughts to it.
He however assured the delegation the government would work for facilitating fertilizer industry in order to provide quality fertilizer at less costs to the farmers. He said the strategy of agriculture credit and provision of inputs at less cost would benefit the farmers and lead to growth in this sector. Arif  Habib briefed Dar on issues related to the fertilizer industry. He informed the local fertilizer industry was critical to Pakistan due to agrarian economy and it was the most efficient industry in gas utilisation. He disclosed the local industry was providing timely fertilizer to farmers around 30 percent to 50 percent below to import price. 
He said due to gas shortages/curtailment the local production was below demand and due to this huge foreign exchange was being spent on expensive imports to bridge gap between demand and supply. He informed the participants if enough gas was provided the industry could not only fulfill local demand but also export fertilizer in order to earn foreign exchange.
He urged Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited should be directed to fulfill its commitment to provide gas to fertilizer industry. He demanded for allocation of unutilised gas and gas from new discoveries to the fertilizer industry which was vital for agriculture growth in the country.
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood, Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources Abid Saeed, adviser to the Finance Ministry Rana Assad Amin, additional Finance Secretary/SA to Finance Minister Shahid Mahmood and senior officials of the Finance Ministry attended the meeting. 

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