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Cost effective gas supply ensured to all consumers: PM

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Cost effective gas supply ensured to all consumers: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi on Wednesday said that the government has ensured cost effective and efficient supply of gas to all the consumers in the country.

Enumerating government’s performance in oil and gas sector at a news conference in Islamabad, he said we have addressed the issue of gas shortages and today the world’s prominent companies are expressing interest to invest billions of dollars in the LNG sector.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan is being dubbed as a success story in the LNG sector and the price of imported gas is lowest in the world. As a result of this imported gas, the wheel of industry and fertilizers has been revived. Additional imported gas will also be provided to the domestic consumers.

The Prime Minister said that the power generation from the gas is also helping produce cheap electricity and helping save billions of dollars in foreign exchange. Gas fired plants are more efficient than those powered by the furnace oil.

He reminded that Pakistan imported one million tonnes of fertilizer when it assumed the power in 2013. However as a result of availability of sufficient gas, we were able to export six hundred thousand tonnes of fertilizer last year.

The Prime Minister said that one hundred and sixteen oil and gas discoveries were made during the last five years which is a record. These discoveries added thirty five thousand barrel of oil and nine hundred million cubic feet of gas to the system.

He said four hundred and forty five wells were drilled during this period. Of these two hundred and twenty five were exploratory wells. He said the total discoveries reflect the success rate of fifty percent which is a great achievement.

Shahid Khaqan Abbassi said that we laid transmission line of seventeen hundred kilometer of forty two inch diameter at a cost of two hundred billion rupees.

We have also made arrangements for the laying of North South Pipeline with the cooperation of Russia and China. In addition, the Prime Minister said we also laid distribution pipelines of twenty five thousand kilometer which is a record.

He said over the last five years, two million new gas connections were provided and these were provided through a transparent mechanism.

About the TAPI project, the Prime Minister said work on this important project is continuing and the country will start receiving gas from it by 2020.

Turning to LPG, the Prime Minister said its production more than doubled during tenure of the present Government. He said in the past LPG quotas were doled out but these are sold through a competitive bidding.

He said LPG air-mix plants are being installed in areas where supply of piped gas is not possible. These include every district headquarters of Balochistan, Chitral, Gilgit, Azad Kashmir, Murree and Kahuta. Similar plant would also be set up in Skardu within two-three years.

The Prime Minister said despite opposition by vested interests, the Government introduced quality diesel and petrol in the country which are not only environment and vehicle friendly but also led to reduction in price.

He said the cabinet has approved deregulation of diesel and its deregulation can be done at an appropriate time.

He said work has also been initiated for transmission of oil from Karachi to Peshawar through a pipeline. He said the first phase from Karachi to Multan would complete by next year and as a result the cost of transportation would come down.

Prime Minister Abbasi said nowhere in the world furnace oil is used because of its adverse implications. With this in view, there is no import of furnace oil for eight months and its import would come to an end next year.

He said two refineries would be set up besides increasing capacity of the existing refinery in Karachi from fifty thousand to one hundred thousand barrels.

He said PARCO coastal refinery would be completed in three years at a cost of five billion dollars and this would be the largest industrial undertaking in the history of Pakistan. The second mid-country refinery would be set up near Lahore at a cost of six to seven billion rupees and will have a capacity of three hundred thousand barrels of oil.

Replying to a question, the Prime Minister said Pakistan entered into a gas import contract with Qatar at the lowest rates in the world.

To another question he said oil prices in Pakistan are less than most of the oil importing countries.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that the PML (N) government has lived up to its commitment not to interfere in freedom of expression or working of media.

He was speaking as chief guest at the awards distribution ceremony of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister said PML (N) made a firm pledge not to resort to coercion or pressure tactics against media and it pursued the policy religiously during the last five years. He said in the past IB secret funds billions of rupees were spent annually but the present government has not spent even a rupee from the secret fund for any purpose.

Prime Minister Abbasi said criticism apart; it is also responsibility of media to project achievements of the Government and measures aimed at welfare of the masses. He said such policies and steps should also get projection through positive and objective news reports besides advertisements.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan is perhaps the only country of the world where Ministers work in the day and defend their actions during talk shows in the evening. The Prime Minister said censorship has become useless in the age of social media and other sources of dissemination of information but there is definitely need for self-regulation by media.
He desired formation of a Committee to analyze media related issues and come out with recommendations for reforms in media.

The Prime Minister said free and fair media is as important as free and fair elections.
He said the Government is leaving Pakistan in much better condition in every respect as compared to what it inherited in 2013.

He said despite constitutional and other challenges and hurdles, the journey of progress continued.

The Prime Minister referred to completion of Lowari tunnel by the present government at a cost of 28 billion despite the fact that the project was initiated by late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto forty years ago.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated newly renovated and expanded Quetta International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, the Prime Minister said the airport has been expanded and modernized at a cost of two billion rupees, and now even Boeing 777 can land at the airport.

The Prime Minister said besides Quetta, airports in Multan, Peshawar and Sialkot have been renovated, and the long-delayed project of Islamabad International Airport has also completed and inaugurated.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said peace has been restored in Balochistan, and now development needs to be focused there. He said development of Balochistan is the development of Pakistan.

He said Balochistan is going to become hub of connectivity with the implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said the CPEC projects will promote regional and global connectivity and the Central Asia will be connected through rail network under CPEC.

The Prime Minister said the PML-N government completed all the initiated projects. He said 17-km long motorways are being constructed across the country.

He said progress in the country is only possible through democracy. He said political parties should set aside their differences and work for development of Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says record 160 oil and gas discoveries were made during the last five years.

Enumerating government’s performance in oil and gas sector at a news conference in Islamabad today, he said we have addressed the issue of gas shortage in the country.

The Prime Minister said the government has ensured cost effective and efficient supply of gas to all consumers in the country.

The Prime Minister said today world’s leading companies are expressing interest to invest billions of dollars in the LNG sector. The Prime Minister said that the power generation from the gas is also helping produce cheap electricity and save billions of dollars in foreign exchange.

He reminded that as a result of availability of sufficient gas, we were able to export six hundred thousand tonnes of fertilizer last year.

Shahid Khaqan Abbassi said we have also made arrangements for the laying of North South Pipeline with the cooperation of Russia and China.

In addition, the Prime Minister said over the last five years, two million new gas connections were provided through a transparent mechanism. About the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India or TAPI project, the Prime Minister said work on this important project is continuing and the country will start receiving gas through it by 2020. The Prime Minister said the center provided thirty billion rupees to the provinces under the head of Gas Development Surcharge in 2013 while an amount of seventy three billion rupees was disbursed to the provinces under the same head last year.

Prime Minister said the second mid-country refinery would be set up near Lahore at a cost of six to seven billion rupees with a capacity of three hundred thousand barrels of oil.
Prime Minister Abbasi said besides new refineries the capacity of the existing one in Karachi will be enhanced from fifty thousand to one hundred thousand barrels.

He said PARCO coastal refinery would be completed in three years at a cost of five billion dollars and this would be the largest industrial undertaking in the history of Pakistan. Replying to a question, he said Pakistan entered into a gas import contract with Qatar at the lowest rates in the world. To another question, he said oil prices in Pakistan are less than most of the oil importing countries.

Turning to LPG, the Prime Minister said its production increased more than hundred percent during tenure of the present Government.
He said LPG air-mix plants are being installed in areas where supply of piped gas is not possible. The Prime Minister said the Government introduced quality diesel and petrol in the country, which are not only environment and vehicle friendly but also are cheaper. He said work has also been initiated for transmission of oil from Karachi to Peshawar through pipeline.
Earlier, speaking as chief guest at the awards distribution ceremony of All Pakistan Newspapers Society in Islamabad today, Prime Minister said the PML(N) Government has lived up to its commitment not to interfere in freedom of expression.

The Prime Minister said PML (N) made a firm pledge not to resort to coercion or pressure tactics against media. Prime Minister Abbasi said criticism apart, it is also responsibility of media to project achievements of the Government and measures aimed at welfare of the masses.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has expressed the confidence that media will play its due role in the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in the country.

She said democracy and journalism have a deep link. She described the passage of Right to Information Act as a big achievement of present government. – NNI