18 August 2017
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Secretary General of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday lauded the vision of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that will ensure rapid development.
PM Abbasi has served as Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources for many years with full dedication and has a very clean reputation, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the prime minister was the architect of the LNG policy while reduced the supply-demand gap in the country, and his years of exposure will help ensure energy security for the country.
He said that soon after becoming the prime minister he has focused the energy sector for reforms and he is considering to deregulate some of the transport fuels.
Deregulation of profit margins of oil marketing companies (OMCs) and petroleum dealers will be one of the important decisions by the government resulting in various benefits for the public as well as private sector petroleum refiners while it will also show positive results for the economy by attracting investment, he added.
However, he said the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has been reported to be opposed to the proposed deregulation of profit margins of OMCs and petroleum dealers, fearing that the move will encourage them to form a cartel and fix retail prices at the expense of consumers which must be considered.
Pakistan monthly consumes 600,000 tons of high-speed diesel whereas petrol demand stands at 550,000 tons per month which is being increased by 20 percent per annum. Presently OMCs charge Rs 2.41 per litre of petrol and diesel while dealers collect Rs 3.16 on petrol and Rs 2.67 on diesel and they are trying to improve their margins.
Mian Zahid Hussain also supported the proposal of a surcharge of ten paisa per litre on the sale of all transport fuels to enhance storage infrastructure and product stockpiles to at least 45 days of consumption.
Reserves of petroleum, oil and lubricant products for 45 days must be maintained but presently they are significantly lower than the required quantities which is a security threat that must be tackled urgently, he demanded.
He said that oil storage capacity of India and China is far better than that of Pakistan.