Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Pakistan loses 1.3 bln rupees in revenues on southwest gas attacks

Pakistan loses 1.3 bln rupees in revenues on southwest gas attacks - officials

QUETTA, Pakistan (AFX) - The government has lost an estimated 1.32 bln rupees in revenues as a result of recent rebel attacks on Pakistan's biggest natural gasfield in restive southwestern Baluchistan province, officials said.
Dozens of rockets that renegade tribesmen fired damaged the main plant of the Sui gas complex on January 8, drastically cutting supplies to industrial and domestic consumers across the country for more than a week.

Losses to the plant at Sui, 320 kilometers from Quetta, are estimated to be around 1.32 bln rupees, a senior official of state-owned Pakistan Petroleum Limited, Mohammad Iftikhar, told Agence France-Presse.

'The government of Pakistan incurred losses of 35 mln rupees per day in revenue and royalty due to the eight-day suspension of the gas supplies,' Iftikhar said.

'Even after the repair of the main plant, the company is unable to restore full gas pressure in the main pipeline, causing a revenue loss of 17.5 mln rupees per day,' he said.

Gas production has plummeted to 348 mln cubic feet per day, half of normal production before the attacks, he said.

Many gas-run industrial plants in Pakistan have also suffered daily losses of around 120 mln rupees for eight days as they have had to use costlier fuels to run their operations, Iftikhar said.

Resource-rich Baluchistan has been in the throes of a mini tribal revolt linked to ethnic Baluch nationalist groups opposing development projects and demanding more royalties for the central government's use of their land.


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