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PM sees economy touching 6pc growth rate next year

Updated November 21, 2017
PRIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visiting the LNG terminal.—INP
PRIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visiting the LNG terminal.—INP

KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has predicted that the economy which has already hit a nine-year high 5.28 per cent growth rate during the current financial year is most likely to touch 6pc next year citing “vision of the leadership” and timely completion of development projects.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the second Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at Port Qasim here on Monday, he said when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government came to power in 2013 it faced serious challenges, including energy crisis, lawlessness and a tottering economy.

He said the government was committed to resolving the issue of energy shortages and had successfully reduced the gap between demand and supply both in electricity and natural gas. The development work was going on several power projects to overcome the challenge in the shortest possible time, he added.

Country’s second LNG terminal at Port Qasim inaugurated

“The challenge of power shortages has been addressed with the import of LNG,” he said. “In 2013, the government was informed that it would take a minimum seven years before any of its ambitious projects could take shape. But it’s a moment of pride for our government that it has completed all the projects that we initiated about four years ago.”

Built by the private company, the second terminal would handle another 600MMCFD, taking the total import volume to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day. Pakistan is already importing 600 million cubic feet of LNG per day through its first LNG terminal at Port Qasim.

Mr Abbasi congratulated the private company — Pakistan GasPort Limited — on completion of the project and called it a success story. He said the government allowed only the private sector to build and operate the terminal restricting its role only as facilitator and regulator.

“The government’s function is not to do business but to provide a regulatory framework,” he said. “Following the same policy, the government is working on ways to produce electricity through different options. Three more LNG-run power stations would soon be operational to add more electricity to the national grid. Similarly, work on 1,360 MW coal power project is also nearing completion.”

He said the LNG was the cheapest fuel available in the country and would adequately meet the requirements of the commercial, industrial, domestic and the CNG sectors.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2017