Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved $10 to $14 billion worth of oil refinery in Pakistan, State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik said on Friday.
“Pakistan had been working for this for long,” he said at a press conference in Islamabad. The media briefing was held after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy earlier in the day.
“Energy is necessary for economic progress. Pakistan will be on the road to progress soon,” Musadik said.
He said the government had managed to secure a deal with Russia to receive the first cargo of cheap oil soon, unlike the previous government’s “noisy propaganda”.
Speaking about the energy crisis, Musadik said the government had decided to provide 50 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) of gas to poor households and stop providing gas to power plants. The aim is to take back cheap gas from the rich and provide it to the poor, according to Malik.
He added that the government had formed a policy to provide cheaper energy by utilising liquified natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and solar while ensuring responsible usage of these resources.
“Gas has been taken back from those who used it to sell expensive electricity. The monopoly of some people has been abolished,” he said, without mentioning their names.
Pakistan to get Russian oil cargo soon
On Thursday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told the parliament that the first cargo of the discounted Russian oil will arrive in the country soon.
“As we speak, the Russian oil is being loaded to arrive here,” he said on the floor of the lower house.
Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik told Reuters last week that Pakistan had made its first purchase of cut-price Russian crude.
The discounted purchase offers much-needed respite to cash-strapped Pakistan, which has been struggling to avert a balance of payments crisis as it awaits an IMF deal.
Source : BusinessRecorder