ISLAMABAD: Former Energy Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Hammad Azhar has asserted that the incumbent government was also barring private companies from buying oil from Russia, ARY News reported on Thursday.
Talking exclusively to ARY News, the former federal minister claimed that Bangladesh is also close to an agreement to buy cheap oil from Russia, reiterating that the PTI-led government would have bought Russian oil in April if they were still in power.
Hammad Azhar further said the fuel companies have Rs600 billion in oil profits while the KP and Punjab governments were also paying Rs100 billion respectively. “Rs300 billion was set aside for oil subsidy. If we could get cheap oil from Russia, we would have saved this amount,” he added.
In response to a question, he said that the PTI government had started talks with Russia in mid-March. “On March 29, we received a call from Ambassador in Moscow, who informed that Russia was interested in selling oil cheaper,” he added.
The former finance minister said that the “imported” government was also barring private companies from buying oil from Russia. “If even 2-3 percent economic growth is achieved next year, it will be a great accomplishment for the government,” he added.
Earlier in June, Hammad Azhar revealed that the previous PTI government had decided to purchase oil at discounted rates from Russia in April and would have never thought of dropping a petrol ‘atom bomb’ of Rs60 per litre on the masses.
Addressing a press conference along with former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Hammad Azhar said that they received an offer to buy Russian oil at discounted rates in March.
“In April, we decided to purchase the oil besides also devising a comprehensive plan for improving economic conditions,” he said.