‘No agreement regarding export of salt to India at lower prices signed’

ISLAMABAD: Senate’s Standing Committee on Petroleum was informed on Monday that there was no agreement signed for the sale or export of rock salt to India at lower prices.

“The price of the rock salt of Khewra mines is the same for everyone, however, it remains a fact that Pakistan has not developed its salt as a brand, which is why the export potential of this important community is not being realised,” the Pakistan Mineral and Development Corporation (PMDC) managing director apprised the committee meeting, which was chaired by Senator Mohsin Aziz.

The Senate body sought details from the PMDC about a number of mines, workforce, safety measures and mine incidents that took place during the last ten years.

The committee was informed that the law related to mining was formulated in 1923, adding that the country was still managing its affairs through a 100-year old law, which was not compatible with today’s needs.

Problems pertaining dead grants, compensation, low wages and old methods of mining was also touched upon during the meeting.

Meanwhile, regarding the shortage of gas in Abbottabad and Quetta during extreme cold weather, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) officials told the committee that both the cities were located at the tail-end of the country, which was why issue of low pressure reoccurred there.

The companies were bringing new projects to counter this problem and at present the situation was better as compared to two or three years ago, they claimed.

Regarding an increase in the price of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the committee was informed by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) chairperson that the prices kept fluctuating on the basis of crude oil, which was imported by Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL).

Among others, the meeting was attended by Senators Taj Muhammad Afridi, Quratul Ain Marri, Mir Kabeer Ahmed, Shammim Afridi, Saleem Zia, Sardar Shafiq Tareen, Bahramand Tangi, Lt Gen (r) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Dr Jehnazeb Jamaldini and Kalsoom Parveen.

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