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Pakistan, Iran to jointly develop gas pipline implementation plan

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  • Pakistan renewed its commitment to project: minister.
  • Iran offers to export more electricity for Gwadar, Chaman.
  • Both countries decide to explore ways to implement project.

ISLAMABAD: In a positive development, Pakistan and Iran have decided to jointly develop a consensus implementation plan for the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, The News reported Friday. 

The decision came after a meeting between two sides in Tehran during which Islamabad had sought relaxation on the Feb-March 2024 deadline to avert the penalty of $18 billion for not laying down a pipeline in its territory. 

Iran had asked Pakistan last year to construct a portion of the gas line project in its territory till February-March 2024 or pay a $18 billion penalty.  

The negotiations regarding the plan would begin in the next two to three weeks.

Despite this, the Iranian deadline to move international arbitration by September 2024 would remain in the field allowing that much time to explore bilateral avenues.

Energy Minister Muhammad Ali told The News, “We have held constructive talks in Tehran and Pakistan has renewed its commitment to the project.

“We have convinced the neighbouring country of our deficient energy status for which we also have enhanced work on the TAPI gas line project. The Iranian side listened to us carefully and agreed to increase active engagements to enable the IP project.”

During the talks, the Iranian side also offered to export more electricity to Pakistan for Gwadar and Chaman and the former agreed to consider that. Pakistan is already importing 104MW of electricity from Iran.

Ali said in his view Pakistan needs more electricity from Iran for Gwadar, of course on a better negotiated tariff. Though China is setting up an imported coal-based 300MW power plant at Gwadar, it may not fulfil the future needs. 

“Once the national grid gets installed at Gwadar, Pakistan can also use more Iranian electricity for its national use,” the minister said.

When the energy minister was asked about the gas project and the issue of $18 billion penalties, he said that both countries have decided to explore ways to implement the project.

The Inter-State Gas Systems of Pakistan and the National Iranian Gas Company signed a revised agreement in September 2019 for the pipeline.

This accord stipulated that Iran would not approach any international court for any delay till 2024 but would be free to do so afterwards. Pakistan could not build the pipeline primarily due to the risk of US sanctions that any project with Iran would invite.

During the talks, the Iranian side was of the view that there could be no US sanctions as it was already exporting gas to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, which have not been exposed to any sanctions. The same would hold good for Pakistan in that scenario.

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April FDI in Pakistan increased to $358.8 million, according to SBP

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The inflow for April was $358.8 million, up 177% from $132 million in April FY23. Still, that was 39% more than the $258 million from March.

China was the largest investor, with $439.3 million in FDI from the nation between July and April of FY24—the greatest amount—as opposed to $604 million during the same period of FY23. In April, China accounted for $177 million of the total investment.

With $51.93 and 51.89 million invested in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada came in second and third, respectively.

The power industry was the main draw for foreign investors in FY24, which ran from July to April. This period’s FDI in the power industry was $637.5 million, compared to $776.2 million the previous year. From $338 million to $460 million this year, Hydel Power garnered more attention.

Continue reading: In FY23–24, Pakistan’s per capita income increased to $1680.

According to a separate data released on Wednesday, Pakistanis’ per capita income increased to $1680 in FY2023–2024.

The size of the national economy grew from $341 billion to $375 billion in the current fiscal year, according to figures made public by PBS.

Throughout this fiscal year, Pakistanis’ yearly per capita income increased by Rs 90,534; the monthly rise was Rs 7,544.

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OGRA forbids the purchase or sale of inferior LPG cylinders.

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The 313 LPG marketing and 19 cylinder-producing companies received notices from the OGRA, which described the act of refilling inferior LPGO cylinders as harmful.

Avoid supplying LPG to unlicensed distributors, the OGRA has cautioned LPG marketing companies. Only approved distributors will be able to sell and buy LPG going forward, per the notification, which states that new SOPs have been developed for the LPG industry.

Additionally, the warning said that the decision was made in an effort to preserve both lives and the business in response to an increase in cylinder blast occurrences.

Price reductions of Rs 20 per kilogramme for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were implemented in Quetta on May 3.

There is a reduction of Rs 20 on LPG prices, which means that the price per kilogramme drops from Rs 280 to Rs 260.

The costs of LPG were reduced by Rs 20 per kilogramme earlier, bringing the total decrease to Rs 40 per kilogramme over a few weeks. This is something worth noticing.

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PIA announces a significant student discount.

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According to an airline spokesman, the national flag carrier has recently raised the baggage allowance to 60 kg.

Currently, PIA flies one flight per week on Sundays between Islamabad and Beijing.

The discount may be useful to students who intend to spend their summer vacations in Pakistan or who wish to return home after earning their degrees.

Before, students who wanted to visit China could now receive a 27% reduction on their fares through PIA.

On Eid ul Fitr, the national flag airline also reduced the cost of domestic flights by 20% for both economy and executive economy classes.

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