LAHORE: Minister of State for Petroleum Division Dr Musadiq Masood Malik has said under the Pak-Russia agreement, oil and gas would start reaching Pakistan this year, which would help provide relief to people. Government would soon reduce the gas and electricity tariff for the common man and they would be paying reduced gas and electricity bills as compared to the rich man.
While talking to media here at Lahore Press Club, he said that PDM government was standing with the poor man. The prices of food items and other essential items would start decreasing soon that would subsequently help reduce the hardships of the poor strata, he assured. He said that economic recovery was the first priority of the present government, the prices of commodities and other essential items would be reduced in the coming days.
Malik said that after today, the price of gas would be different for the poor and the rich, the price of gas would be lower for the poor and different for the rich areas.
Russian oil supply likely by April
The gas tariff of 59 percent of the people of the country had been reduced, when a rich person used 10 units of gas, he would pay three times the money and the poor would get the same amount of gas for less than half that money. “We have also reduced the tariff for tea stall holder and if tea stall holder’s gas bill is Rs 800, the rich will have to pay the same gas bill at Rs 1800, while big hotels and tandoors (ovens) owners will also have to pay separate gas prices,” he disclosed.
Minister of State said that a unit of gas in Saudi Arabia costs two dollars, while in Qatar it costs three dollars, and in Bahrain, power and fertilizer companies pay four dollars, while in Pakistan, gas was being given for 70 cents to the rich and now this would not happen. “We are striving to get one to two billion dollars from the IMF, while rich people are importing cars worth the same amount,” he cited.
He said that the Prime Minister’s directive was to give as much new gas as possible to power sector, adding that one unit of electricity from LNG costs Rs 26, which was borne by the common man, and if the same gas was given to the industry, it would be Rs 60 per unit.
He said that Imran Khan was sitting at his home and advising the children of the poor to be jailed. Imran Khan was true by saying that there were two Pakistanis, one for the poor and the other for the rich, he said, citing that the bread thief was being punished and there was no questioning of thief who stole diamonds and costly gifts, while the PML-N leadership was disqualified for not taking salary from his son.
The PML-N leaders and workers had to endure great hardship and were imprisoned during PTI government, as Imran Khan had implicated his political opponents in false cases.
Musadiq Malik said that there was a Pakistan in which a person who took 450 kanals of land from Malik Riaz was now roaming freely and the person who gave him the benefit of US $ 250 million assumed himself as the leader of this country. During his tenure, he mention, Imran Khan had benefited Arif Naqvi’s K-Electric Company by US $ 360 million, while the daughter was handcuffed and dragged to jail in front of her father in the dark of night.
There was a Pakistan where there were costly brand cars; on the other hand the child of the poor was dying of hunger. “Yes, two countries have been made in one country, Pakistan of the rich and Pakistan of the poor, now the country of the weak and the strong will be separated. The government is standing with the poor and old Pakistan,” he maintained.
In response to a question, Minister of State Musadiq Malik said that Khawaja Muhammad Asif was his leader but Pakistan was not defaulting, the country defaulted when it could not pay the loan. He said that situations like Sri Lanka had not arisen in Pakistan yet and Khawaja Asif’s statement was being presented out of context. We are all with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, he asserted.
He said that since he assumed charge as minister, no new gas meters were installed because there was no gas, and they could not afford the gas available on that price. “The country has been ruined due to subsidies,” he observed.
When asked, he said that the power breakdown report had come out but let it be approved by the cabinet.
Musadiq Malik said that industrial growth was the future of Pakistan. Government will promote small scale industries for the youth coming out of colleges he maintained. Government will focus on small and medium sized industry for strengthen the economy.
When asked about the abrupt increase of petrol prices, he said that the prices of petroleum products were related to international oil price and the fluctuations of the dollar, one had to pay the price of oil by buying dollars. If oil was sold at a lower price than the market, the country would default.
When asked about Pakistan’s weak economy, he said that Imran Khan caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national treasury by buying oil at high prices from the international markets in the last days of his tenure and that raised the fear of the country defaulting.
Any country that buys expensive oil and sells it at lower price will meet the fate like that of Sri Lanka he added.