ISLAMABAD- The government plans to reduce General Sales Tax (GST) on petroleum products to provide relief to the masses and was in the process of consultation with the provinces on the subject, the Senate was told on Thursday.
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain told the house during question hour that out of the total GST collected 70 per cent goes to the provinces and the rest to the federation.
He said the government`s part in the petroleum levy collected under the Finance Bill was 70 per cent while 30 per cent is given as subsidy.
He informed that purchase cost of petrol was Rs67.71 per litre while consumer price was Rs87.75. He said the diesel purchase rate was Rs73.1 per litre while its consumer price was Rs95.78 per litre.He said the work on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project was in progress and would be completed by 2014.
Dr Asim said that a number of projects were underway to overcome the growing demand of the petroleum products.
The minister said under a $2.5 billion project, work is underway for drilling 500 exploratory wells for shale gas in Sindh province.
Answering a question, he warned that the country`s gas reserves will deplete by the year 2023, if its non-productive use was not shun.He said he had placed ban on new CNG stations, but regretted that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) issued licences for new stations despite the ban. `It has to be seen as to what falls in their purview,` he remarked.He said there were 11 trillion cubic feet gasreserves in Sui while Qatar had 900 trillion cubic feet gas reserves and no subsidy is offered by them.
Dr Asim said 89 exploratory wells had been drilled during the last four years and 25 gas discoveries had been made. Of these, nine gas discoveries had already added 107.215 million cubic feet per day gas to the national distribution network and it was expected that 122.318 million cubic feet per day gas would be added from rest of the discoveries during 2012-13.
About the steps being taken to further enhance oil and gas development and production activities, he said petroleum exploration and production policy would shortly be promulgated.
He said his ministry was also working on shale gas policy to encourage the investors to exploit these reservoirs.He said negotiations were underway between PSO and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for the establishment of refineries in the province.
He said in order to expeditiously arrange LNG supplies his ministry intends to initiate competitive bidding through public tenders to be floated through gas utility companies.
Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar told the house in a written reply that 70 megawatts of electricity was being purchased from Iran for coastal areas of Makran while two megawatts each was also being supplied from Iran to border towns of Taftan and Mashkail.
He said proposals for import of 1,000 megawatts of electricity from Iran, 1,000 megawatts from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and 500 megawatts from India were also under consideration.