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set to save $1 billion on Gulf oil import bill
KARACHI, November 2 (Internews):
Pakistan expects its Gulf oil import
bill to come down by as much as 30 per cent to $2.2 billion, by the end
of current fiscal year.
"We expect to save as much a billion dollars in the current fiscal
[ending June 2002] if present oil prices sustain in the international
market," an official of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources
said here Friday.
In the last fiscal, ending June 2001, Pakistan imported $3.2 billion
worth of petroleum products from the Gulf states to meet its burgeoning
"Oil prices in the world market have gone down to $20 a barrel from $26
after September 11," the official said. "This has benefited Pakistan
since the rupee made an unprecedented recovery against the dollar."
Another factor that might lead to a further cut in the oil import bill
has been the fall of petroleum consumption in the country, he added.
According to oil marketing companies in Pakistan, petroleum consumption
in the country has fallen by about 20 per cent after the terrorist
attacks in the United States.
The fall in the price of petroleum products alone may help Pakistan save
between $500 million and $700 million, should the current prices
continue in the international market for some more time.
A reduction in the consumption and suspension of the Afghan Transit
Treaty too has slashed Pakistan's oil import requirements by between 15
and 20 per cent, he said. -Internews
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