Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik stated that the latest hike in gas tariff was implemented without imposing a burden on the low-income segment. In a media briefing, he added that the government separated the poor and rich segments to protect low-income individuals from its impact.
However, Malik admitted that the low-income segment in Pakistan is facing tough times. He also shared that 60 per cent of the Pakistani public will remain unaffected by the gas price hike, and the low-income segment might even see a decrease in their bills.
Malik agreed with former finance minister Miftah Ismail that Pakistan is experiencing elite capture. He emphasized that Pakistan is different for the high-income and low-income segments, and the gas tariff has mostly increased for the high-income segment.
During the speech, Malik criticised the developed countries for fancying development and progress, which he believed have put most of the world’s population – nearly 5 billion – at peripheries.
According to Dawn, the minister said that the development has not been inclusive and countries like Pakistan were paying the price despite having “zero” contribution in carbon emissions and lately, it became the third most affected country from global warming.
He made these comments after the government raised gas prices in line with the International Monetary Fund’s recommendation. As a result, the weighted average cost of gas has increased by 43 per cent from Rs620 to Rs885 per million British thermal units.
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