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Loadshedding of gas.

There were conflicting reports on Dec 12 with regard to gas supply in the country. On the one hand, National Assembly members were told no gas loadshedding was being carried out, but low pressure was being experienced due to rising winter demand. On the other hand, the SSGC reported that it was ceasing supply to the CNG sector and captive power plants. This is a notification of gas loadshedding coming directly from the source so we are left bewildered by the statements made at the National Assembly session.

The pattern of low gas pressure and increased demand during the winter is observed every year without respite. It is possible the statements made at the NA session were premature. We are well aware that the current government has several Pollyannas who play the glad game of having highly idealistic views on the dilemmas the country faces in various sectors. However, the reality checks are coming and the PM's comments about taking U-turns resonate with the idealistic strategies sketched out. Loadshedding will affect a couple of sectors but commercial and residential supply will not be stopped while new gas pipelines are installed to improve gas pressure. In actuality, without CNG, commercial activity will be impacted. The other caveat is that supply is being stopped until further notice, which is least reassuring, reiterating that a cloud of uncertainty is usually detrimental to an economy. A protest was hence, expected.

The PTI has been working ambitiously in many sectors for which it deserves credit. Previous governments chose to focus on their own sectors of interest, often where there was money to be made for themselves. Nonetheless, while the PTI has made lots of promises, it has taken upon a lot of 'pressure' with somewhat of a naive vision about how to deliver on them. We hope the different government departments can work in unison instead of giving conflicting statements, displaying discord within the leadership.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Dec 13, 2018
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