Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik on Monday said that Unaccounted for Gas (UFG) losses of gas companies, including Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), would be brought to zero by the end of the current government’s tenure.
“UFG losses will be brought to zero by the end of our government tenure,” said Malik, while addressing a seminar titled ‘National Policy Dialogue: Localisation for Growth’ in Karachi.
Referring to the Russian oil deal, Malik said that the present government was able to ink a deal with the energy giant for cheap crude in a span of 40 days.
“One- third crude will come to Pakistan at cheaper rates. From start to finish we were able to do it in 40 days,” he said.
Last month, Malik had said that under the Pak-Russia agreement, oil and gas would start reaching Pakistan this year, which would help provide relief to people.
To a query, the federal minister said that the incumbent government in its current tenure separated the gas tariff for the rich and poor. “We have separated the gas tariff, one for the rich and one for the poor, to promote inclusivity and a level playing field.”
He added that the wellhead circular debt has been reduced to nil. “The circular debt of LNG remains, which will be reduced to zero by the end of our tenure, the work is in progress,” he shared.
“Moreover, electricity rates would be brought down from Rs26 per unit to Rs7-8 per unit, by the end of our government’s tenure,” he added.
The seminar was presented by K-Electric and co-hosted by Nutshell Conferences Group, in association with IMS Electric (Pvt) Ltd, Transfo Power Industries (Pvt) Ltd, Pakistan Cables, Pak Electron Ltd, and Alson’s Group.
“Except productivity, nothing can drive a country towards localization,” said Malik, adding that long-term productivity is only achieved through innovation and human ingenuity.
The federal minister said that export is the key performance indicator of localization.
“We need to develop an amalgamation of industry, academia and private sector to develop industrial clusters,” said Malik, while calling for radical change in the country’s educational system.
Citing the example of India, the federal minister said that the neighbouring country has a competitive edge in its educational system, which is reflected in its industry.
“Moreover, the government needs to create a level-playing field, where competition can only take place on the basis of productivity and innovation,” Malik said.
The federal minister shared that Pakistan’s imports stand at $80 billion, whereas the exports remain at a meagre $28 billion.
He said that that the increase in energy prices of local industry leads to import subsidising. “When the production cost of the local industry is raised, this leads to import subsidising,” he said.
“Thus the issue is there is no level playing field, the government should get the hell out of the industrialist way, and let them compete. It has to be fierce competition.
“Only through the fierce competition you would get a competitive edge, and only through edge you’d be able to create clusters, and only through clusters you would be able to export and only through exports you would be able to save Pakistan,” concluded Malik.