Gas supply was halted by the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) on Saturday to all captive power plants (CPPs) for general non-export industries across Sindh and Balochistan. It was done to meet the increasing demand of domestic consumers in winters on a priority basis.
Supply discontinuation will come into immediate effect and it will remain suspended till further orders.
Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said a gas shortfall is being witnessed due to the use of heaters and geysers in winter season.
Meanwhile, the federal cabinet Saturday approved the agreements about depositing of $3 billion aid from Saudi Arabia in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and receiving fuel from it for one year on deferred payment.
Saudi Arabia will provide fuel worth $100 million on a monthly basis to Pakistan on deferred payments for one year, as per a private TV channel’s report. The Pakistan government will pay 3.8% in interest to Saudi Arabia.
This agreement will initially last for a year, but could later be extended. A summary in this regard was sent by the Economic Affairs Division. The finance ministry, SBP and the FBR agreed on the agreement draft. The federal cabinet endorsed both deals via circulation summaries on Saturday.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had promised to maintain a reserve of $3 billion at the SBP and provide fuel to Pakistan on extended payment facility for one year during a recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia.
The agreement was that aid would remain in the SBP deposit account for one year. The SBP has finalised all arrangements and the amount is expected to be received within the next couple of days. Pakistan will, however, pay the Saudi government a 4% yearly profit on this sum.
The agreement with the Saudi government was forwarded to the Ministry of Law and the Office of the Attorney-General for Pakistan which reached an agreement on a draft.
Following a legal opinion, a copy of the agreement was submitted for approval to the federal cabinet.