Industrialists seek cut in energy tariff

Say new LNG deal with Qatar will ease pressure, resolve shortage

Our Correspondent February 28, 2021
Market sources were of the view that it was a good decision by the regulator as it would open new avenues of private invest-ment in the LNG sector. PHOTO: FILE


Industrialists have urged the government to slash the energy tariff in line with the low-priced LNG agreement inked between Pakistan and Qatar.

In a statement on Saturday, Businessmen Group (BMG) Chairman Zubair Motiwala termed signing of the long-term LNG supply contract between Pakistan and Qatar ‘a significant achievement’.

“The deal has paved way for supply of additional 200 million cubic feet a day (mmcfd) at around 31% lower rate compared to 2015’s contract for 500 mmcfd and it will definitely ease the tariff pressure off consumers besides helping resolve the issue of gas shortage being faced across the country,” he said.

On behalf of the business community, he appreciated the efforts made by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar who played a pivotal role in achieving the accords.

He cherished that the government took notice of deteriorating energy infrastructure and dealt with the situation timely. He stressed that the export-oriented industry suffered a deadly blow in the past few months due to gas shortage, low pressure and other related matters.

Referring to his conversation with Babar, Motiwala said that the special assistant was considering reduction in the energy tariff in light of inexpensive LNG agreement.

“Nadeem Babar promised that the government will consider slashing the tariff next month,” he added. During the meeting, Motiwala stressed that the recent policy of the government to convert captive power plants into power consuming industries should be reconsidered.

Moreover, Babar assured him that disconnection of gas consuming industry would not take place and the same has been instructed to gas supplying companies.

“This is a breakthrough in dealing with the energy crises being suffered by Pakistan at present,” he said. On the other hand, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Shariq Vohra was of the opinion that the government was forced to use expensive RLNG earlier but things have changed now and tariff would be normalised from March 1, 2021 for the consumers.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2021.

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