Govt taking adequate steps to improve gas supply: Sarwar

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ISLAMABAD: Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan says the government is taking adequate steps to improve gas supply in the country.
Briefing media persons in Islamabad on Saturday afternoon, he said during the previous government gas bought at expensive rates was sold at cheaper rates, causing a loss of 154 billion rupees to the national exchequer each year.
Petroleum Minister said gas worth 50 billion rupees is annually lost in theft.
He said the government of PML-N approved gas projects worth 55 billion rupees during their last year in order to get vote favors.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the previous government also did not raise the price of gas to get a positive image of themselves before people.
The Petroleum Minister said the present government took difficult decision of rationalizing the gas rates in order to take the gas companies out of loss.
He said as the consumption of gas increased during the winter, the consumers using more quantity of gas received higher bills.
The Minister said around 9300000 consumers are utilizing the gas service network of Sui Northern and Sui Southern Gas companies.
Ghulam Sarwar said in order to give relief to the gas consumers, it has been decided that people who receive bills over 20,000 rupees per month can submit it in four installments.
He said the gas facilitation centers will extend services to the consumers on weekend too.
The Minister said the import bill of oil and gas related expenses is over 16 billion dollars.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan said offshore drilling has started from the thirteenth of last month and good news is expected by end of next month. So far, 3500 meter deep drilling has been done out of 5500 meters.
He said the people have given a mandate of five years to PTI government and it will fulfill its agenda of serving the masses.
Replying to a question, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan visited friendly countries to seek foreign investment into the country.
He said Saudi Arabia has expressed interest to invest more than 10 billion dollars into the country in not only setting up a refinery in Gwadar, but also in agriculture, fertilizer and construction of LNG storage sites.
Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Media Iftikhar Durrani urged the media to verify the news before publishing or broadcasting it.

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