Increse in Gas Prices confirmed by minister
Caretaker Federal Minister for Energy, Power, and Petroleum, Muhammad Ali, stated on Thursday that a gas price increase was unavoidable and disclosed plans to raise gas prices in the near future, as reported by ARY News. During a joint press conference with Caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce and Industry, Gohar Ijaz, Muhammad Ali confirmed that gas prices for domestic consumers would see an upward adjustment.
Ali clarified that the caretaker government had no intention of raising gas prices for low-income consumers but expressed concern about affluent individuals in major cities using subsidized gas, a situation that needed addressing. The minister revealed that the caretaker government had devised a plan to reconcile disparities in gas tariffs and acknowledged that the province where gas was extracted should have priority access to meet its demand.
Ali highlighted that the gas sector was incurring daily losses of Rs100 crore and an annual loss of Rs3,000 crore. He noted that companies exploring gas reserves had left the country. The caretaker energy minister mentioned that the government's hands were tied due to commitments under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, making it impossible to reduce gas prices.
Earlier in the day, Caretaker Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar stated that decisions regarding state-owned entities (SOEs) would be made based on a prepared list. She emphasized the caretaker government's legal mandate for privatization and its ability to make key economic decisions, including the privatization of state entities.
Akhtar explained that state-owned companies would no longer be subordinate to relevant ministries and would not have to follow orders from these ministries. The government aimed to make these companies autonomous entities, as outlined in a policy displayed on the Ministry of Finance's website. Caretaker Finance Minister further highlighted efforts to revive the national economy and encourage profit-earning companies, citing SOEs' losses of 500 billion in 2020.