Achakzai threatens suspending fuel over outstanding dues of province.
Balochistan Finance Minister Zmarak Khan Achakzai on Monday threatened to suspend the gas supply to the rest of the country if the federal government failed to pay outstanding dues of the province.
Speaking on the point of order during Balochistan Assembly session, which resumed with Deputy Speaker Babar Musakhail in the chair, the minister lashed out at the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) for not paying the dues of Balochistan.
Lawmakers from the treasury and opposition spoke at length regarding the financial crisis faced by the province.
“We want our constitutional share in the National Finance Commission Award share,” Achakzai demanded.
The minister warned that in case of failing to do so, he would request Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo to deploy 200 Levies personnel to stop the supply of gas to the rest of the country.
“We will not allow Islamabad to swallow our rights,” the minister said.
Achakzai maintained that Balochistan was facing “serious” financial crisis and was not able to pay the salaries to the government employees.
“Despite having rich mineral and natural resources the province is having financial constraints.”
Law makers from opposition also demanded of the federal government to pay the dues of Balochistan government and address the province’s financial concerns.
“We want justice,” Zabit Reki, a member from Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam said.
Reki noted that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif failed to fulfill his promises he had made regarding Balochistan.
“Premier Shehbaz failed to translate his words into action when it came to [addressing] the issues of Balochistan,” he said.
The House also discussed issues relating to health, education, and jobs for the youth in the province.
Sui Gas Field, a natural gas field near Sui in Balochistan, is operated by the PPL.
The gas field was discovered in 1952 and its current production is 8.5 million cubic metres (300 million cubic feet) per day at standard conditions.
Sui Gas Field is considered to be the largest natural gas field in Pakistan with 1.6 trillion cubic feet reserve estimates as of 2017.
In 2007, the Sui Gas Field accounted for 17% of Pakistan’s total gas production.