‘Ensure gas supply instead of beating about the bush’

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‘Ensure gas supply instead of beating about the bush’

KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Sindh‘s General Secretary and former finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Monday said that inflation will increase after the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and rising interest rates are a snare around the neck of private industry.

Addressing a press conference at Muslim League House in Karachi, Miftah Ismail said the State Bank of Pakistan’s Governor Reza Baqir has been made unannounced viceroy of the country.

He said that additional gas terminals should be set up, reminding the Energy Minister Hammad Azhar of the government’s promise to set up more terminals soon as he rued a lack of progress on that front. “Pakistan will suffer in the winter so it is imperative to set up terminals. It will not resolve through talking and giving empty statements” he said. “They are set up by actually working and you can’t seem to do that.”

Ismail also criticized Energy Minister Azhar’s call for a debate with a journalist and asked government officials to ensure gas supply in the country instead of beating about the bush. Azhar had, on November 19, thrown down the gauntlet, to Geo News anchor Shahzeb Khanzada to debate about the country’s LNG and gas issues — the challenge which was the latest in a series of heated public exchanges between the two. “I would like to challenge Shahzeb Khanzada to debate LNG and gas issues with me, moderated by a neutral anchor and with independent experts. Let the people see the facts without persistent interrupting, volume controls, teleprompters, etc,” he wrote. “Azhar, stop arguing, as winning arguments does not ensure gas supply in the country,” Ismail said.

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To improve the current situation, Ismail suggested to the federal ministers to ensure gas supply to domestic and industrial consumers, install LNG terminals and pipelines and not increase the rate of LNG. “Imran Khan’s speeches are nice, but they have pushed 220 million people into poverty,” he said.

He said that the audio recording of Justice Saqib Nisar has been declared original by an American company. “This is what happens when justice parties become the party,” he said. He said that by raising the monetary policy rate by 150 basis points, the government had increased its expenditure by Rs400 billion.

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