Pakistan Gives Expensive Gas to Poor while Subsiding the Rich: Minister

State Minister for Energy (Petroleum Division) Musadik Malik Monday lamented that Pakistan burdens its poor by charging them the fully loaded cost of liquefied natural gas (LNG) while the fertilizer sector is given gas at cheaper rates than even gas producing countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Speaking at a seminar in Karachi, the minister highlighted that the government was supplying gas at around $1.30 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) to fertilizer manufacturers while the price is $2 per MMBtu for the fertilizer and gas sector in Saudi Arabia and the price is even higher in Qatar at $3 per MMBtu.

The minister highlighted that even the export sector in Pakistan is provided subsidized liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the rate of around $8-9 per MMBtu after buying it for over $13 per MMBtu. He also highlighted that under a contract the government is providing gas even at the rate of just 70 cents per MMBtu.

Malik said that while the elite offered such subsidies the poor of the country are charged the full price of LNG after producing electricity from it, which costs over Rs. 40 per unit. The minister added that the poor are being forced to pay the price of this elite capture.

The minister also spoke extensively about the poor performance of Pakistan’s export sector and said that there is no level playing field in the country which is the root cause of all import-export related issues.

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