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Minister takes responsibility for petroleum shortage

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Pakistan, Islamabad News : Federal Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abassi Wednesday finally admitted his failure in handling the fuel crisis that brought the country especially Punjab to a virtual standstill for days.

“We have our lesson the hard way. I hope we will not let such an acute crisis repeat itself ever,” the minister said in a somewhat confessionary statement.

A rather remorseful Abassi, who had so far not only been defiant but also bent on shifting the blame on others, has also expressed readiness to quit his office as minister petroleum.

“If he deems that I do not deserve to hold my office anymore, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif can send me home right away if it helps the situation,” Abassi said.

Going forward, the minister ruled out any petrol crisis in the future, adding that arrangements haf been made in view of likely reduction in oil prices next month and rising demand for petrol.

“Sufficient quantity of petrol has been stocked to meet the demand next month,” he said adding, “ LNG import will start on March 31 and the fuel will be provided to power generation plants.”

He said that price of one liter petrol would soon be at par with that of one kilogram of CNG.

To a question, he said sufficient stock of diesel and furnace oil has also been ensured. “The CNG sector has also been allowed to import LNG and the government would provide logistic support for the supply of LNG,” the minister told reporters.

Replying to a question, he said matter of gas theft would also be taken up with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government as loss of Rs8 billion had been incurred due to this problem.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman CNG Association Ghiyas Piracha said that price of CNG would be 30 percent less than that of petrol.

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