Lahore, January 31, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday appreciated the Federal Cabinet for giving go-ahead to Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and hoped that the Ministerial Committee constituted to explore funding avenues for the project would proceed expeditiously.
In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry had already been pressing the government hard for procuring the required energy resource from whatever source suits to it to relieve the country of the mounting shortages of gas.
They said that the LCCI was convinced that the Iranian source is the most feasible, financially as well as from the point of view of proximity and succumbing to any pressure would further worsen the already crippling power crisis.
They appreciated the Federal Cabinet for its decision to complete the project at the earliest through mutual cooperation instead of relying on foreign aid.
The LCCI office-bearers said that at present a number of industrial units had stopped their operations for lack of power, let alone any new ones to come on line. The other sectors of the economy like agriculture are not immune from its impact. The economy, already in the doldrums, threatens to come crashing down.
The LCCI office-bearers said that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline would serve Pakistan’s national interests and would go a long way in mitigating the energy issues.
They said that an early completion of this mega project of national importance would be a great favour to the business community as its very survival is at stake at the moment.
They said that an acute energy shortage in the province of Punjab, in particular, had not only jacked up the graph on unemployment but it had also dented the investment scenario beyond repair.
The LCCI office-bearers said that the availability of energy would also help government achieve economic targets set for the year 2013. The $7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline agreement was signed in Tehran on May 23, 2009, to transfer gas from Iran to Pakistan.
According to the deal, Iran will initially transfer 30 million cubic meters of gas per day to Pakistan, but will eventually increase the transfer to 60 million cubic meters per day. The pipeline will be supplied from the South Pars field. The initial capacity of the pipeline will be 22 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per annum, which is expected to be raised later to 55 bcm.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854