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Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik said on Monday that the losses of gas companies, including Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), would be zero by the end of the current government’s tenure.
“The loss of UFG will be brought to zero by the end of our tenure,” Malik said, while addressing a seminar titled “National Policy Dialogue: Localization for Growth” in Karachi.
Referring to the Russian oil deal, Malik said the current government could strike a deal with the energy giant for cheap crude oil in 40 days.
“One third of crude oil will come to Pakistan at cheaper rates. From start to finish we were able to do it in 40 days,” he said.
Last month, Malik had said that according to the agreement between Pakistan and Russia, oil and gas would start arriving in Pakistan this year, which would help in helping people.
Low-income segment to be largely unaffected by gas tax hike: Musadik Malik
To a question, the federal minister said that the incumbent government in its current tenure segregated gas tariff for the rich and the poor. “We have separated the gas tax, one for the rich and the other for the poor, to promote inclusiveness and a level playing field.
He added that the borehole’s circular debt has been reduced to zero. “LNG’s circular debt remains, which will be reduced to zero by the end of our tenure, the work is in progress,” he said.
“Moreover, electricity rates would come down from Rs26 per unit to Rs7-8 per unit, by the end of our tenure,” he added.
The seminar was presented by K-Electric and in association with Nutshell Conferences Group, in partnership with IMS Electric (Pvt) Ltd, Transfo Power Industries (Pvt) Ltd, Pakistan Cables, Pak Electron Ltd, and Alson’s Group.
“Except productivity, nothing can propel a country towards localization,” Malik said, adding that long-term productivity can only be achieved through innovation and human ingenuity.
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The federal minister said exports were a key location performance indicator.
“We need to develop a merger of industry, academia and the private sector to develop industrial clusters,” Malik said, while calling for radical changes in the country’s education system.
Referring to India, the Union minister said the neighboring country has a competitive edge in its education system, which is reflected in its industry.
“Moreover, the government needs to create a level playing field, where competition can only take place on the basis of productivity and innovation,” said Malik.
The federal minister said that Pakistan’s imports are $80 billion, while its exports are still nearly $28 billion.
He said that the increase in energy prices of the local industry leads to subsidization of imports. “When the production cost of the local industry is raised, this leads to subsidizing imports,” he said.
“So the point is there is no level playing field, the government should get out of the business and let them compete.” There has to be fierce competition.
“Only through the fierce competition would you get a competitive edge, and only through an edge could you create a cluster, and only through a cluster would you be able to export, and only through export could you save Pakistan,” concluded. Malik.