Non-import of LNG : Pakistan losing $1 billion per month: Dr Asim
* Minister says govt may opt for evaluating petroleum prices on weekly basis
* CNG will phase out sooner than later
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain on Friday said that the country was facing a loss of $1 billion per month due to not importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Addressing a press conference at the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, the minister said that vested interests were the major hurdle in importing LNG and that was the reason that the government was moving ahead on importing of LNG cautiously.
He said that the government was also moving ahead on Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project despite international pressures while it was also completing TAPI project to fulfil the gas shortage.
He said that the government had decided to evaluate petroleum and CNG prices on a fortnightly basis and if this experience proved successful in three months, this evaluation would be made on weekly basis.
He also urged media to do positive reporting as due to irresponsible reporting, investors had refused to invest in the LNG project in the recent past.
He said that the government had decided to keep the prices of CNG at 60 percent parity with the petroleum prices and this parity would be maintained in future.
Dr Asim said that with the decrease in prices of furnace oil, the impact would also be made on electricity prices. However, he said that the prices of domestic gas would remain unchanged, as the prices of domestic gas were the cheapest in the world.
“If the use of gas for domestic and CNG purposes is not curtailed forthwith, our major reserves of gas would deplete by year 2020,” he said.
When asked about the future of the CNG sector, the minister said that the CNG would phase out sooner than later. He said that during his tenure, record gas was added to the national grid.
“Around 800 mmcfd has been added during my tenure as minister while another 300mmcfd would be added in next few months, which is a record,” he added. He said that the government was bringing more gas-efficient projects in the country while gas would be imported to meet the shortage. app