ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin admitted on Tuesday that the government should have bought gas cargoes, but it could not do so as its purchasing time was over.
In an interview with a news channel, he said although there was gas crisis in the country, the government was purchasing gas despite its higher rate to control the situation. He admitted that nobody knew about the international prices which were quite high and the government should have purchased some cargoes earlier. He said country’s imports of petroleum and gas touched almost $20 billion per year which had been at $12 to $13 billion per year and now it had to pay $7-8 billion more in that regard. Shaukat Tarin said that according to the market pundits, the prices would come down during December and January when the intensity of COVID-19 pandemic would start declining.
He said country’s gas companies were supplying gas and some one or two gas discoveries had been made in Lakki Marwat and money was needed the extraction process. To a question about foreign gas companies, the finance minister said that those had left the country, but he added, the local companies were unable to do something because they did not have money and they were facing liquidity crisis. He said the circular debt was quite high right now.