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After petrol, high-quality diesel to hit market at weekend

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan State Oil (PSO) will start selling high-quality diesel from coming Saturday, just two months after the introduction of better-quality petrol in the domestic market.

Briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources on Monday, PSO Managing Director Sheikh Imranul Haque said the state-owned oil marketing company would start marketing within a week the high-quality Altron X diesel, which meets Euro-II emission standards.

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PSO has already introduced environment friendly RON 90 and 95 petrol that replaced the old RON 87, which were being sold in the country for decades.

An official of Inter State Gas Systems, a state-owned company that works on gas import projects, told the parliamentary panel that Iran was still facing international sanctions and work on the gas pipeline from Gwadar to the Iranian border would start only after the restrictions were removed.

Echoing similar views, officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said work on laying the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline had come to a halt because of sanctions on Tehran.

It was revealed that a transit agreement for the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (Tapi) gas pipeline had been finalised and India would pay transit fee to Pakistan and Afghanistan under the project.

Work on clearing landmines along the pipeline route in Afghanistan has already commenced.

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Petroleum Secretary Arshad Mirza told the committee that collections made through the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) were being spent on gas pipelines.

The government has so far received Rs170 billion in GIDC, according to the Director General Gas of the Ministry of Petroleum.

Nawab Ali Wassan, MNA of Pakistan Peoples Party from Sindh, protested against gas load-shedding, saying his province was facing more gas outages than other provinces.

He complained that the managing director of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) did not respond whenever approached for the resolution of grievances.

According to the petroleum secretary, the country is facing shortage of 4 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Chairperson Uzma Adil Khan declared that the regulator would not issue liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) refuelling station licences to those compressed natural gas (CNG) stations that had defaulted on previous payments.

She said Ogra had received 35 applications for the setting up of LPG retail outlets, but it did not hold any public hearing due to lack of quorum after the retirement of Member Gas Amir Naseem.

Speaking about the gas distribution licence issued to a Karachi-based company, she emphasised that the permit was given after meeting all legal requirements.

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The company had filed an application for the licence nine months ago and the regulator held public hearing on the subject, she clarified.

PSO had objected to the name of the company that was changed later to Gaseous Distribution Company.

Responding to a news report, she pointed out that Ogra’s member gas was going to retire, that was why the licence was issued just one day after the company’s registration in order to avoid the quorum issue.

She said only the name of the company was changed and no director or other thing had happened. “Had the regulator conducted public hearing again after the retirement of member gas, it would not have been able to issue the licence,” she remarked.

Courtesy : Express Tribune

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