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Pakistan to ask Iran for relaxation on gas project deadline

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  • Pakistan’s delegation will hold talks in Tehran today.
  • Islamabad will have to pay $18 billion penalty after deadline.
  • Consultants say US sanctions not to impact Pakistan’s economy. 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will ask Iran on Tuesday to provide relaxation on the Feb-March 2024 deadline to avert the penalty of $18 billion for not laying down a pipeline in its territory, The News reported. 

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

Pakistan was supposed to lay down the 781-kilometre pipeline from the Iranian border to Nawabshah and start consuming 750 million cubic feet of gas daily. Tehran has already laid a pipeline from a gas field to the point bordering Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s delegation will hold talks in Tehran today (November 14, 2023) with Iranian authorities and request them not to move the international arbitration seeking the imposition of an $18 billion penalty. Energy Minister Muhammad Ali may reach Tehran today (Tuesday) but it depends upon the clearance by the PM office. However, relevant officials have reached Tehran. The Energy minister arrived back today (Monday) from Kyrgyzstan,” senior officials of the Energy Ministry told The News.

“Pakistan will also sensitise Iranian authorities of endeavouring to implement the IP gas line through a third party to avoid the US sanctions imposed against Iran for its nuclear ambitions. The government has also approached the relevant US departments to find out about the impact of curbs but they have not responded citing a lengthy process to analyse the impact. The French consultants are of the view that US sanctions will have no impact on Pakistan’s economy,” the officials said.

The Inter-State Gas Systems (ISGS) of Pakistan and the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) signed a revised agreement in September 2019 for the pipeline. Under this accord, Iran would not approach any international court for any delay till 2024. Afterwards, Iran would be free to move to France-based international arbitration and seek an $18 billion penalty.

The officials said that Iranian authorities will be sensitised about Pakistan’s endeavours to restructure the IP gas pipeline project to avert the US sanctions. 

“Under the new option, Pakistan may not purchase the gas directly from Iran but through a third party. Iranian authorities are also on the board for the proposal.” 

Since Pakistan cannot afford US sanctions it is pedalling very carefully to implement the project,” the sources said.

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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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