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Cabinet approves MoU for Saudi oil refinery at Gwadar

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to set up a state-of-the-art oil refinery at Gwadar, said Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry.

During a press briefing here, the minister said the cabinet approved a Memorandum of Understanding between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in this regard. The MoU is expected to be signed when Saudi Energy Minister would visit Pakistan at the end of this month or beginning of the next month.

He said cost and capacity of the refinery have not yet been finalized.

Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar said Pakistan has also offered several other important projects to Saudi Arabia for investment and the Kingdom has promised to consider these proposals. They include North South and South North pipelines and exploration of oil and gas in different parts of the country.

Sarwar said Saudi Arabia expressed keen interest in investing in different sectors of Pakistan’s economy during recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Riyadh.

He said a delegation from UAE would also be visiting Pakistan to explore prospects of investment in Pakistan.

The Information Minister said Saudi Arabia would make huge investment in Pakistan.

He said the cabinet constituted a Task Force headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak to decide about utilization of two thousand four hundred and sixty-seven properties of Federal, Punjab and KPK Governments.

He said as already decided, a modern centre of excellence would be set up at the site of PM House. The cabinet approved initial framework of the centre. A forum has been instituted under the leadership of Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood for further processing.

He said 528 employees of the PM House have come down to a few ones and others have been assigned to the surplus pool.

The Information Minister said the cabinet decided to remove all those illegally appointed by former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in important departments. These include Saeed Ahmad President National Bank; Tahira Raza President First Women Bank, Syed Talat Mahmood CEO of Zarai Taraqiati Bank, Ehsanul Haq Khan President SME Bank; Jameel Ahmad and Shamsul Hassan of State Bank and three officials of Competition Commission of Pakistan.

The Information Minister said Turkey would be establishing a state-of-the-art college or university for hospitality in Islamabad.

Explaining increase in the recent gas tariff, the Petroleum Minister said only ten to twenty percent rate has been increased for the lowest slab, which forms eighty percent of the total population consuming gas in the country. He said twenty percent of the population uses gas as fuel. He said one hundred and forty-three percent increase in gas tariff will affect only two percent of the gas consumers.

On the other side, the Minister said LPG cylinder price has been decreased from sixteen hundred rupees to fourteen hundred rupees. He said the gas rate has been a little bit increased to meet the one hundred and fifty-eight billion rupees deficit incurred by the last government.

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