Caretaker Minister for Energy, Muhammad Ali, addressed concerns about gas prices during a visit to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), accompanied by Caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce, Industries, and Production, Gohar Ejaz.
He revealed that impending announcements would detail changes in gas prices, acknowledging that gas prices have consistently been a matter of concern. According to Dawn, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had proposed a 45–50 per cent gas tariff increase earlier in the year to meet revenue requirements for gas utilities. However, the government has not yet made a formal decision.
Ali emphasised regional disparities in gas prices, with the North having higher prices than the South. He also discussed the challenges of inadequate long-term LNG contracts and efforts to combat electricity theft. He noted that while steps were being taken to reduce energy price disparities, an overnight reduction was impossible due to the country’s commitment to the IMF programme.
Commerce Minister Ejaz highlighted efforts to address issues related to Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) and its impact on the dollar rate. He pointed out that industry inputs, raw materials, and energy prices were vulnerable to international market fluctuations, affecting exports due to currency devaluation. However, recent measures have stabilised the exchange rate.
Ejaz also stressed that currency devaluation had hindered export growth and highlighted how disparities in gas supply and prices hampered development efforts nationwide. He called for unity and collaboration, emphasising that traders were vital assets for the country’s strength and prosperity.
Notably, the caretaker government had recently raised petrol and high-speed diesel prices, leading to widespread criticism and sporadic protests due to the significant price surge amid high inflation.