PM directs CMs to ensure impact of reduction in petroleum prices reach common-man

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday directed the provincial Chief Ministers to ensure that the impact of reduction in petroleum prices must reach the common-man.

He directed the provincial governments to keep a check on transport fares and on prices of basic commodities.”Despite the sit-ins and political disturbances to obstruct the progress and prosperity of the country. The government has succeeded in passing over the decrease in international oil prices,” the Prime Minister said while chairing Cabinet meeting at Prime Minister Office.

“I feel immense satisfaction that reduction in the prices of petroleum products has been made possible despite adverse circumstances, which speak volumes about performance of the government and would ensure that the reduction definitely benefits the people across the country, “the Prime Minister added.

Prices of petroleum products have been considerably reduced. Price of HI-Octane has been reduced by Rs. 14.68 per liter; Petrol by Rs. 9.43, Diesel has been reduced by 6.18 rupees and that of Kerosene Oil by Rs. 8.16 per liter.

After reduction the new prices are as follows: HI-Octane Rs 116.45 per liter, Petrol Rs. 94.16 per liter, Diesel Rs. 101.21 per liter and Kerosene Oil Rs. 87.52 per liter. Industrial, agriculture and social sectors would benefit by the big reduction in oil prices.

The Prime Minister further said that the present government took immediate action on increasing production of electricity in the country. The government has given many incentives to the investors to invest in the alternate energy sectors and at the same time advances were being made in Hydel and Nuclear power sectors.

An important point regarding cabinet meeting was that from today a series of presentations would be made by Federal Ministers regarding the performance of their respective Ministries.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources made a power-point presentation on the performance of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, stated that Petroleum policy 2012 had been implemented. He said that 44 new exploration agreements had been signed.

He said that 137 oil wells had been spudded in the last one year of this government, while during the last government’s five years only 370 wells were spudded, moreover, during last one year 37 oil and gas discoveries had been made while in the last government’s term only 45 such discoveries were made.

During the detailed presentation, the Minister for Petroleum also mentioned that the country was experiencing the highest oil production ever, i.e., 98,980 Barrels per day.

The Ministry is providing additional gas for Fertilizer sector which had an impact of Rs 30 billion. Another landmark achievement of Ministry of Petroleum is SSGC 400 MMCFD LNG terminal which would start working from February onwards.

This LNG terminal, he said, would provide LNG to IPPs which would generate 2500 MW electricity. The Petroleum Minister told the cabinet that Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) had been implemented.

The Cabinet came to know that Gas theft (Control and Recovery) Act had been promulgated which would help save gas and generate revenue. The Prime Minister appreciated the 1000 MW Gas field on-site power generation policy.

The Petroleum Minister apprised the cabinet of the challenges faced by the Ministry in the next three years, which were, implementation of Iran-Pakistan gas pipelines project, implementation of TAPI pipeline, implementation of South-North gas pipeline project, unbundling of SNGPL and SSGC, reduction of un-accounted for gas to 7 percent.

The Cabinet was told that two audit firms were hired to probe over-billing in terms of electricity bills. In its initial reports the firm had pointed towards 31 % increase in billing, 22% due to tariff increase last year and 9 % due to increase in consumption.

Secretary Water and Power proposed that the consumers which were using 300-500 units might be given relief of 22 billion rupees. The Prime Minister in this regard instructed to constitute a committee, comprising Minister Water and Power, Minister for Petroleum, Minister for Interior, Secretary Ministry for Water and Power and led by Minister for Finance.

The Prime Minister directed the proposed committee to provide immediate relief to the people.

Source: APP