Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik has said that talks between Islamabad and Moscow are underway for the import of oil, adding that Pakistan will begin importing Russian crude oil at discounted rate from this month.
He said this while addressing petroleum dealers and businessmen and industrialists in Karachi at the PSO House on Wednesday. The minister’s statement comes days after he claimed that Pakistan would place its first order for Russian crude oil next month, adding that the two countries have agreed on a lot of matters.
In an interview with a private news channel on Saturday, the minister had maintained that it may take around 26-27 days for the consignment to reach Pakistan. He had also said that Moscow has assured that Islamabad will receive a discount equal to the amount that its neighbouring countries are receiving.
In today’s address, the minister said they were making all-out efforts to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas to the consumers during Sehr and Iftar timings.
“We have discussed this matter with the Sindh governor. However, I will request the governor that the utility bills must be paid,” he remarked.
The minister acknowledged that they had received complaints regarding the suspension of electricity and gas supply to industries in Karachi. The small industries also have raised objections on the electricity rates, he said.
Also read: Pakistan to place first order for Russian crude oil next month: Malik
Malik said there were obstacles in the supply of gas in some areas of Karachi due to the lack of infrastructure.
The state minister for petroleum admitted that the country’s gas reserves are depleting, thus 24-hour supply of gas is not possible.
“The demand for gas begins increasing from November. The gas tariff has been increased for the people who can afford it and the burden of the increase in gas prices is not on the poor and middle-class consumers,” he added.
However, he said that demand for gas has witnessed increase in Balochistan due to the rains and cold weather in the province.