New gas connections banned to protect existing consumers rights, NA told

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik has said there is a ban on new gas connections to ensure the provision of gas to the existing consumers.

Responding to a Calling Attention Notice in the National Assembly, he pointed out the gas reserves are depleting rapidly, elaborating that piped gas is annually depleting by 14 to 15 percent.

He emphasized blending the domestic gas and the imported LNG to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to the people.

The Petroleum Minister said that a project has been launched at a cost of four point five billion rupees to improve gas supply to the areas of Kemari, Lyari and Malir in Karachi. He acknowledged that the middle and lower class should be prioritized in terms of gas provision.

In his remarks, Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb told the House that no new legislation is being proposed to extend tax and duty exemptions for erstwhile FATA and PATA regions.

He said these exemptions were continuing for six years and now are coming to an end on the 30th June this year. The Minister said that the business community in their interactions on the budget is insisting on a level playing field for all the industries.

Various documents were also laid before the House today. These included the Report of the 1st biannual Monitoring on the Implementation of 7th NFC Award, the Mid-Year Budget Review Report for the Financial Year 2023-24, the Fiscal Policy Statement 2024, the Debt Policy Statement January 2024, the Performance Monitoring Report for the current fiscal year and Audit reports of the Auditor General of Pakistan relating to the Accounts of the Federation for the years 2021-22 and 2022-23.

The house is continuing discussion on the President’s address to the joint sitting of the parliament. Gul Asghar said the President in his speech highlighted the importance of the charter of reconciliation and economy.  He said reconciliation is important to take the country in the right direction and address problems of the people. Atif Khan said foreign policy should be discussed at the platform of the parliament.

Tariq Bashir Cheema said the President in his address to the joint sitting of the parliament raised very important points for the development of Pakistan. The House has now been adjourned to meet again tomorrow at 11am.

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