by Qazi Bashir Ahmed, Old Hala, Sindh
Courtesy: Daily Dawn, 14.09.2009
The Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources and Privatization, while addressing the session of National Assembly revealed that Sindh is producing at least 60 percent of country’ total oil production and only Qadirpur Gas field at Ghotki is giving 14% of the total fuel production in the country. Whereas the gas fields, spread over vast areas from Sanghar, Badin, Dadu, Ghotki and Khairpur districts are producing billions of metric cubic feet gas adding immensely in the national pipeline.
Unfortunately these districts of Sindh which contribute so much for the well being of national economy of the country are the most underdeveloped areas of the country. They are not only deprived of basic civic infrastructure such as proper roads, electrification, modern health facilities, educational institutions but the majority of people are living in sub-human conditions because of low economic activity. Even the manual and non technical jobs, created as a result of explorations are occupied mostly by the people coming from upcountry.
In other countries such oil and gas producing zones are normally given preference by providing with more share of finance as well job opportunities so that people can not feel of being looted.
Since the people of Sindh, especially those belonging to the areas possess the natural resource of oil and gas and are adding greatly to the national prosperity it is their fundamental right to have better socio economic conditions as are being enjoyed by the urban areas like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
I hope the Minster for Petroleum and Natural Resources and Privatization, who happens to be the representative of one of these underprivileged areas, should also get his electorate adequate share in proportion to contribution they make in the state economy.