ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi informed the Senate that the government has adopted economic policies that will yield results in due course of time.
The Senate resumed its session in Islamabad with Deputy Chairman Sabir Ali Baloch in the chair.
Concluding the discussion on the motion moved by Raza Rabbani regarding the recent price-hike especially the prices of petroleum products, gas and electricity as well as the essential items, he said the government’s investment policy will bring new business in the country and create job opportunities.
He said that the state enterprises have caused a loss of one trillion rupees to the national exchequer.
The Minister said that the government has provided 14 billion rupees subsidy to the consumers in petroleum sector during the last five months. He said that the previous governments did not take any initiative for new projects to improve gas production in the country.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the government is initiating new projects in energy sector and expressed the confidence that within few years the country will be self-sufficient to meet the gas demand in the country.
Meanwhile, Senate was informed that the government has allocated 50.154 billion rupees for the construction of dams and reservoirs in different parts of the country during the current financial year and out of these 8.081 billion rupees has been released so far.
Replying to a question during Question Hour, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said that 28 projects will be completed through out the country.
To a question, the Minister of State said that the government has set nine goals under the new energy policy to achieve the long-term vision of power sector and overcome its challenges.
He said the policy will focus to build a power generation capacity that can meet energy needs of the country in a sustainable manner. He said it will also ensure the generation of inexpensive and affordable electricity for domestic consumers and industrial use. He said the policy will minimize inefficiencies in distribution system and financial losses across the system.
To a supplementary question, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said that six thousand rupees were fixed for agriculture tubewells in Balochistan province but 45 billion rupees bills are pending in this regard and the consumers are reluctant to pay the bills.
On this, members belonging to opposition parties staged a token walkout from the House in a protest over the statement.
Replying to a point of order raised by Humayun Khan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that government is taking measures to extend the supply of gas to maximum areas of Balochistan province. He said work is underway on LPG synthetic gas system in this regard and Sui Southern Gas Company has also been directed to complete the work at the earliest.
Members belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party staged a token walkout from the House as a protest over the privatization policy of the government and not taking its approval from the Council of Common Interests.
Speaking on the occasion, Shirala Mallick said that the government must evolve a clear policy to address the issue and provide relief to the masses. She said that the food control authorities should be made effective to check the markets and control hoarding. The House will now meet today (Thursday) at 10:30 am.