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Energy prices will continue to rise in Pakistan until year-end

Not only these fuel prices had increased by 300 to 400per cent by the time the new government came in, but these commodities were unavailable in the market at any price.

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Islamabad: Pakistan government has said that energy prices will continue to rise for the next three to four months because of what it calls ‘landmines laid by Imran Khan’ and then start coming down by November–December this year, Dawn reported.

The country’s energy ministers – Khurram Dastgir and Musadik Malik – said the previous government had tied their hands with legal compulsions for price and there was no way out of the quagmire to provide upfront relief to the people before completing the corrective steps.

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Both ministers said that the previous PTI government kept delaying price adjustments for electricity and natural gas and these became due after tariff determinations from the regulators and changed laws before leaving to ensure the new government was left with no choice but to clear the backlog.

They also said that they did not arrange for imports of LNG, coal, and furnace oil when their prices were at their lowest and the international lenders like the World Bank and IMF were providing cheaper and unconditional loans to sustain the Covid shock. Not only these fuel prices had increased by 300 to 400per cent by the time the new government came in, but these commodities were unavailable in the market at any price.

He said the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) was regularly coming with its determinations for gas price hikes but the PTI government did not notify it for more than three years and only changed the law in the last leg under which the incoming government could not hold on to Ogra’s determination that automatically stand notified after 40 days.

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