Islamabad: Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Division Raja Javed Akhlas on Friday apprised the National Assembly that the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has decided to give one million new domestic gas connections the consumers across the country.

Responding to a Calling Attention Notice moved by Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho and others regarding non-provision of new gas connections to the consumers of Sindh provinces, he said the Cabinet approved the policy in 2013 to provide gas connection purely on merit.

He said there was no discretionary quota of anyone including the Prime Minister, the minister or MNA. Connections were strictly being provided on merit basis, he said.

He said since 2007, there were total 1.9 million consumers of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and now number of connections was surged to 2.89 million.

SSGCL received around 80,000 to 100,000 application for new connections every year, he said. Raja Javed said SSGCL was providing new gas connection to the consumers in just 45 days. As many as 15,000 to 20,000 gas connection applications were pending with SSGCL, he said.

He said some 2.2 million applications were pending in Punjab with Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL).

The Parliamentary Secretary said under Article 158, priority was being given to the areas where new gas reserves were discovered.

He said commercial and industrial gas connections were also being provided after import of RLNG.

Regarding Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, Raja Javed said past PPP government inked the gas agreement in last month of its tenure.

Due to international sanction on Iran, work could not be initiated on the project so far, he said.

He said once Iran completed laying pipeline on its soil, Pakistan has own resources to complete the project.

He refuted the impression that Iran had filed a case regarding the project.

He said work on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) was under progress.