No gas outage this winter: Miftah Ismail

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister Miftah Ismail here on Tuesday said that there will be no load-shedding of gas for domestic consumers and industrial sector during the current winter season.

In an informal discussion with media persons here, he said that about 1200 million cubic feet gas will be available in Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) system; whereas 1200 million cubic feet of imported liquefied natural gas from Qatar will also strengthen the local supply to fulfil the domestic energy demands.

He informed that government had taken appropriate measures to bridge the energy demand-supply gap including the import of LNG from Qatar to produce the electricity on lowest cost as against the production of the electricity produced by the furnace oil.

He said the initiative would also help the government to overcome the electricity crisis and produce cheap energy for domestic and industrial consumption.

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He further informed that imported LNG would help to produce 30 per cent cheaper and 50 per cent extra electricity as compared to the production of the furnace oil.

He informed that LNG deal with Qatar was completely transparent, which was negotiated by a high powered committee comprising senior officials of different ministries including ministries of petroleum, water and power and finance.

He said the deal was completely transparent, swift and cheapest, adding that after the negotiation the price was fixed at 13.7 cents of the brent, adding that countries including Japan and India were purchasing costly LNG at that time as compared to Pakistan.

Miftah Ismail said that government was ready to share the details of LNG import deal with Qatar at any forum and anyone, adding that there was no terminal installed in so low cost in the world and a long-term agreement.

He said that the first LNG terminal was installed by Engro Company at Port Qasim, which had a capacity to supply about 960 million cubic feet, adding that government would install another LNG terminal which would be operational by November this year.

He said that two private sector companies have also shown their interest to install LNG terminals, besides construction of pipelines.

Besides, he said that under the government initiative to bridge the energy demand-supply gap, a pipeline from Karachi to Lahore was completed with a total cost of $ 1 billion to improve the gas supply and rationalising the cost of electricity generation.

Work on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) was also in progress, which would enter in Pakistan from Balochistan province and put a positive impact on the national economy and help in enhancing the industrial activities, he added.

Highlighting the performance of the government during last four years, he said that for the first time highest GDP growth rate was achieved besides revenue collection recorded about 50 per cent increase on year on year basis.

During last fiscal year, revenue collection was recorded at Rs 3,200 billion, whereas government has set a revenue collection targets at Rs 4,100 billion for the current fiscal year which will help the government to increase its spending on social sector uplift.

Meanwhile, he said that during last four years the number of tax filers has reached 1.2 million and about 700,000 people had filed their tax return. However, he said that the revenue collection was not sufficient to fulfil the government spending on social sector development and curtailing the fiscal deficit, adding that government was taking measures to check the tax bleeding and enhancing the performance of tax collecting authorities.

In order to control the growing current account deficit, the government has also imposed duties on the import of many goods to encourage the local industry as well as discouraging the imports of the luxury goods, he added.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister said that foreign exchange reserves of the country stood at over $ 20 billion, whereas remittances have also witnessed significant increase.

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