Monday, December 11, 2023

Govt says Saudi oil available for $1.5bn per year

The government announced on Monday the availability of $1.5 billion a year in Saudi oil facilities and the approval of the principles of the national electricity policy with consensus by the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

Special Assistant Prime Minister (SAPM) for Revenue and Finance, Dr. Waqar Masood Khan said Saudi Arabia will provide oil in deferred payments.

However, he declined to talk further about the details of the oil installation and the reasons behind its $3 billion reductions originally agreed about three years ago.

Dr. Waqar said lifting sanctions on Iran would help boost production, which would have a very positive impact on prices.

He said the government has kept oil product prices stable for about four months, although international prices have risen significantly.

The SAPM said the government had made very realistic estimates of collecting Rs 610 billion from oil taxes over the next fiscal year, although some critics considered it unrealistic and claimed the tax would have to be raised to Rs25 from Rs4-5 per liter at the time.

Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said it was a historic day when the CCI approved the national electricity policy with the consensus that paved the way for the induction of future power generation capacity on the basic principle of least cost, fuel location, and through open and transparent bidding.

The minister said that successive governments are aiming for the type of policy approved by the ICC on Monday, but that they did not comply for several reasons that are better known to them. He said the provinces also agreed with the federal government for operations against electricity theft and bill recovery because there were some areas where 70% of electricity was losing.

The new policy, said the minister, was developed through extensive consultations with the provinces and other stakeholders with the vision of universal access to electricity through the self-sustainable energy sector and its provision to all consumers at affordable prices, commensurate with their capacity of payment.

The next step will be the preparation of a five-year national electricity plan with a 15-year perspective and specific structures in specific subsectors to facilitate implementation. The Energy Division will be responsible for monitoring policy implementation and reporting to CCI annually.

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