The incumbent government has brought back to life gas sector reforms backed by the World Bank (WB) despite continued opposition by the provinces.
The reforms, which propose dismantling of two gas utilities – Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SSGCL) – into at least five public sector companies, including a gas transmission company and four provincial distribution companies on the pattern of power sector companies, had been left unfinished under the government of former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi due to resistance from provinces.
As per media reports, a WB delegation is currently in Islamabad and is in talks with the government regarding energy ministry, gas utilities, the regulator and other stakeholders.
However, Sindh and Balochistan – the two provinces where the PTI has not been able to form the government, have reportedly refused to attend the meetings with the WB. Meanwhile, both Punjab and KP have have reiterated their reservations over the idea for purportedly being against the spirit of Article 158 and 172(3) of the constitution.