KARACHI: Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik, on Wednesday, said that a scheme for the provision of low-priced petrol to lower-income groups was being worked out and it would be finalised in consultation with all the stakeholders.
The minister while talking to the media, here, said that there were different suggestions under consideration including the utilisation of BISP network, the issuance of specific subsidy cards or generating a one-time password (OTP) for the ease of eligible citizens. He also apprised that petroleum dealers also presented some suggestions, the state news agency reported.
The ministry was reviewing all suggestions and it would finalise the most viable and practical suggestions and devise the mechanism in consultation with all the stakeholders so that implementation on the scheme and provision of relief to citizens could be ensured effectively.
The minister said that the petroleum dealers association and trade bodies were extending cooperation to the government in its efforts for ensuring a sufficient supply of POL products and discouraging black marketing, hoarding of fuel.
“Black marketing and concealment would not be tolerated at any cost and such moves will be dealt with sternly,” he vowed.
On a query about imposing gas tariffs, the minister said that a comprehensive mechanism was devised on basis of consumption of natural gas in which 60 per cent of consumers having lower consumption would be protected.
However, rates of natural gas would increase for consumers consuming gas volume more then 0.9 cubic hectometer, he added, and reiterated that the gas tariff had been increased for the people who can afford it. He said that low-income and middle-class consumers had not been burdened with the increase in gas rates.
The minister said that the negotiations with Russia for the provision of crude oil were going well, and it was expected that all the matters would be worked out soon and Pakistan would be able to get crude oil shipment in the month.
He said that country’s gas reserves were depleting and required volume of natural gas was not present in the system to ensure the clock gas supply.
He added that the demand of natural gas starts increasing from November due to changes in the pattern of gas consumption, particularly during the winter season.
He said that the intake of gas had increased in Balochistan due to rains and cold weather that affected the overall supply situation but the situation had started improving now and it would further improve in the coming days.
“The government has made a plan to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas to consumers during the hours of Sehar and Iftar and gas-providing companies are directed to take measures in this regard,” the minister said.
Some complaints were received about disruption in gas supply and the government while taking notice of the complaints had directed the concerned companies to resolve the situation, he said, adding that there were some weaknesses in gas supply infrastructure which were causing supply issues and he was on the special visit of Karachi to address those complaints.