Abbasi restricts furnace oil imports

Staff Report
Friday - December 29, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Prime minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on Thursday, chaired a meeting to review issues related to furnace oil and petroleum, where at the meeting, while taking stock of the existing storage, production capacities of the local refineries and consumption, decided to restrict import orders for the furnace oil; an official statement said.

According to detail, future import of furnace oil will be conditional to the approval from the cabinet committee on energy.

This will help reduce the import bill besides ensuring optimal operationalisation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) based power plants.

Abbasi directed power and Petroleum ministries to ensure proper planning so as to ensure maintenance of required stocks of furnace oil to meet any emergent situation.

The meeting also reviewed availability and consumption of gas by the power sector.

Discussing the issue of circular debt, resulting from inefficiencies in transmission, distribution and recovery process of the power distribution companies (DISCOs), PM directed that special attention should be paid towards overhauling the system to avoid administrative losses and to find a permanent solution to the issue.

Simultaneously, a high level committee be constituted to find solution to the existing issue. The committee will be headed by the power minister and will include representatives of finance, power and petroleum divisions.

Power minister Sardar Awais Ahmed Leghari briefed Abbasi about steps being taken by his ministry towards streamlining the process of issuance of new electricity connections to the consumers.

He informed the PM that by January 15th, all pending applications, which stood around 0.8 million during past few months, will be disposed of.

Leghari said that a system is also being developed to ensure provision of electricity connections to consumers within 15 days of application.

He briefed the meeting about various other steps that have been taken to improve the performance of various attached departments of the power ministry.

Secretaries of finance, power and petroleum divisions, Pakistan state oil (PSO) managing director (MD) and senior officers of concerned departments attended the meeting.