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Interim govt soon to announce changes in gas prices, says minister

Muhammad Ali cites govt recovered Rs6b in 10 days after crackdown on power thieves
Interim Power and Petroleum Minister Muhammad Ali speaks to reporters at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lahore on September 21, 2023. Screengrab via YouTube/Aaj News
Interim Power and Petroleum Minister Muhammad Ali speaks to reporters at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lahore on September 21, 2023. Screengrab via YouTube/Aaj News

The interim government would soon announce some changes in the gas prices, the power and petroleum minister said on Thursday, amid fuel shortage in many parts of the country.

“We will announce gas prices, with some changes in them,” Muhammad Ali told reporters after a meeting with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lahore. “Effort is under way not to burden the lower-income segment.”

Ali’s announcement comes amid complaints of gas shortage in many parts of the country, compelling many households to switch to LPG gas cylinders.

He hinted that there would be minor changes in the rate of lower-income segment because their affordability was less.

Earlier this month, the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority increased the rates of liquified petroleum gas by nearly Rs40. The decision was taken a day after the petrol rates topped Rs300 in Pakistan.

There are reports that the Petroleum Division has sought up to 50% rise in gas sale prices in an attempt to meet demands of the International Monetary Fund.

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The power ministry was also making efforts to lessen the difference in gas prices for industries in northern and southern parts of the country, the interim minister said.

“Right now the gas prices [for industries] in north are much as compared to south. So our effort is and it will be that gas prices would not be increased in north. We will have to increase gas prices in south because they are very low. So very soon, the issue of gas prices for industries will be resolved,” he stated.

Ali also spoke about the shortage of gas supply to the industries. He told the reporters that the issue would also continue this winter.

He said that the government would try to operate the two terminals at their full capacity to meet the demands of the industries.

The power minister shared that the government recovered around Rs6 billion in 10 days in the crackdown on power thieves. He added that more strict action would be taken against such people.

While speaking about the capacity payments, Ali said the government was working on ensuring payments to the companies.

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