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gas supply to rise by one-thirds next year
KARACHI, November 9 (Internews):
Gas supply in Pakistan is to increase
by a hefty 33 per cent from next year when an additional one billion
cubic feet of natural gas enters the main conductance line, industry
sources here say.
Natural gas is available to 15 per cent of Pakistani houses as a
domestic fuel and gas supply is presently restricted to major cities and
towns while even poorer areas of main cities are devoid of the facility.
Officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources say that
with 85 per cent of the population without gas, the government's policy
is to accord preference to the industrial consumers to save import bill
of furnace oil.
"This policy," one official said, "helps the government save between
$500 million to $600 million a year while the estimates of the adverse
impacts of the unavailability of the gas to such a large segment are
He conceded that the rates being charged from consumers are unrealistic
and said the government plans to rationalise them, pointing out that
during the recent past, the government has increased the gas prices
manifold besides imposing the General Sales Tax.
The government's policy to hike the gas rates is based on its aim to
enhance the profitability of exploring and marketing companies, which it
believes would indirectly help in taking the facility to a greater
segment of the society, presently without it. -Internews
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