Dr. Asim Briefs Prime Minister on Petroleum Policy

Islamabad: Dr. Asim Hussain, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, called on Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here today and apprised him about the Petroleum Policy 2011 that proposes to reduce the appraisal period from two years to one year, exploratory period from nine years to six years and puts in place a better and efficient mechanism for the prices of gas and oil. The policy also recommends that petroleum and gas companies will be allowed to sell 10% of their products to the consumers directly.

The Petroleum Minister also apprised the Prime Minister about the IPI gas pipeline, adding that the survey of laying the pipeline in Pakistan has been completed and Financial Advisors will soon be appointed to undertake the responsibilities pertaining to financial aspects of the project.

The work on laying the pipeline in Pakistan is expected to start in due course. The Iranian officials are affirmative that they will complete their part of pipeline by the middle of next year.

The Minister said that they were negotiating rates with Turkmenistan regarding the TAPI gas and had covered a lot of ground in this regard. It may be mentioned that the TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) project is key to quench the ever increasing thirst of energy for the countries of the region, so important for their economic growth.

The Minister also informed the Prime Minister that they were contemplating to lay a pipeline between Karachi and Lahore and further added that the LNG terminal will be completed by the third quarter of next year.

The Minister said that the government was seriously considering to provide free cylinders and stoves to the poorest of the poor and refilling will be allowed to them through BISP cards as well. The Prime Minister directed that the interest of the poor must be protected at all cost.

The issue of circular debt was also brought into the notice of the Prime Minister who assured the Minister that it will be resolved within weeks’ time, not in months.

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