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Energy Minister stresses oil, gas exploration to reduce import bill

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News Stories Posted by ARY News Digital Team

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Energy and Power Muhammad Ali on Friday stressed the need to explore oil and gas reserves in order to reduce Pakistan’s import bill, ARY News reported.

Addressing a news conference, the energy minister said matters related to power generation and petroleum were also discussed in the meeting of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

The minister said since 2013 work on the exploration of gas and oil had been lessened while annual import bill to meet their shortage persistently increased with rising circular debt.

“We have to focus on exploration of oil and gas so that we can reduce our dependence on the imported fuel,” he added.

Muhammad Ali said the SIFC discussed ways and means to control the cost of electricity generation and it theft, and save capacity charges payment (to independent power producers) in the winter.

“We want to give industries such a tariff in incremental supply so that we don’t face losses in capacity charges payment even if they use more electricity as compared to previous years,” the minister added.

He said matters related to governance and functioning of distribution companies (discos) and their privatization also came under discussion in the meeting.

Read More: Dollar Rate Can Be Brought Down to Rs250: minister

“We have to strengthen their governing boards and management, which will in turn help stop power theft and start recoveries,” he said.

The SFIC reviewed the possibility of evolving a mechanism under which the power plants could supply electricity directly to the industry after paying the wheeling charges, he added.

The minister said the gas sector was also facing alarmingly high losses.”We have to improve the gas pricing structure in order to save the government from losses.”

He said the meeting discussed as to how the industry could be provided the required gas despite its increased domestic consumption in the winter

“We have to install more liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and also bring in more LNG in the coming days so that the industries can work to their full potential.”

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