- Govt decides to suspend gas supply to divert more LNG to power sector.
- To review decision after Eidul Azha.
- Official says gas supply to two sectors may be cut off in Sindh as well.
The supply of gas for the export and non-export sectors in Punjab has been cut off till July 9, The News reported.
The decision to suspend the gas supply has been taken to shift the flow of LNG supply towards the power sector so that more electricity could be generated to mitigate the intensity of hours long power outages currently affecting the entire country.
However, the government will review its decision after Eidul Azha.
In the month of July, the government will have only eight LNG cargoes against the demand of 12 cargoes, showing a deficit of 400mmcfd RLNG.
Pakistan LNG Limited (LNG) failed to obtain any LNG cargo from the international spot market in its three attempts. ENI has also defaulted on its LNG cargo, which had to be delivered on July 8. So the government is on a tightrope and has no space to accommodate the industrial sector, a senior official of the Petroleum Division said.
“It has also been decided to cut off gas supply to the export sector and non-export sector in Sindh for 24 hours from Monday onward as there is a shortage of gas supply in Sui Southern Gas Company system, owing to which the availability of gas has decreased, resulting in low pressure in the system.”
He said that if hydrogenation increases substantially by mid of July, then the government may find itself in a position to restore some gas supply to the export sector.
“The government has shut down the gas supply to captive power plants of export and non-export sector in Punjab,” Executive Director of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Shahid Sattar confirmed to The News. He added that the textile industry was expecting a massive decline in exports in the month of July in the wake of the non-availability of gas.
According to the notification, the gas supply to the industrial sector, including captive Power Plants, has been closed down till July 9 and after Eidul Azha, the government will review its decision.
The government is facing the biggest challenge of loadshedding across the country. The coal-based power plants including Port Qasim, Sahiwal, and China HUB are not running at the full capacity because of the lower stock of coal. Port Qasim is producing 312 MW, Sahiwal 330 MW against their capacity of 1,320 MW each.
Likewise, the China HUB also has the capacity to generate 1,320 MW but is generating over 600 MW. The government on Thursday generated 20,774 MW against the demand of over 28,000 MW, showing an electricity shortfall of over 7,000 MW. “We have not enough money to purchase coal at $450 per ton. However, we are in talks with the Afghanistan government for purchasing coal under transaction based on Pak rupee.”
Bulls Reenter PSX: The KSE-100 Rises More Than 886 Points
As the market surged more than 800 points in the early morning trade, bulls grabbed control at the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
During the first trading session, the benchmark KSE-100 index increased by 886 points to 61,350.48 points.
Pakistan’s steel prices are rising; get the latest figures here
Another increase in steel prices has resulted in higher construction expenses in Pakistan. The economic downturn and continuous shipping delays have resulted in sharp price increases for building supplies, which has an effect on those who are planning to construct homes.
Due to increased manufacturing costs and supply chain interruptions brought on by the Middle East crisis, the price of iron, commonly known as steel rebar, has increased by Rs5,000 per ton. Local and imported steel rebar now costs between Rs240,000 and Rs260,000 per ton as a result of this most recent rise.
The cost of branded iron went from Rs255,000 to Rs260,000 per ton, while the cost of local iron climbed from Rs236,000 to Rs240,000. Furthermore, the cost of scrap or unprocessed iron has increased to Rs160,000 per ton inin the iron and steel markets.
The impact of the skyrocketing steel prices will be exacerbated by any more interruptions in the raw material supply chain. The cost of cement, on the other hand, has somewhat decreased and is at Rs 1,246 per bag.
Up 30% to Rs 5.1 trillion by mid-February, FBR collected
The total increase in domestic taxes has been around 40%, whilst import duties and associated levies increased by 16% between July 2023 and January 2024.
With the recovery of the GDP and increased inspection of FBR collection, the growth in revenues accelerated.
Up to mid-February, FBR receipts increased by 30% to Rs. 5.1 trillion. Nevertheless, decreases in import tariffs over time and, more recently, import license limits implemented by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to manage the country’s balance of payments in the aftermath of foreign exchange shortages, were mostly responsible for the decline in the rise of import taxes.
However, the impact of improvements in import valuation, which resulted in collections of Rs 151 billion, as well as the anti-smuggling campaign, which saw a surge of about 69% in the current fiscal year over the previous one, are also included in the income collected from imports.
The statement said that there was room to improve anti-smuggling operations by considering expanding Baluchistan’s customs force, which now only has 378 anti-smuggling employees out of 20,000 total.
The mobilization of domestic tax income, which accounted for more than 64% of all revenues received in the current fiscal year, was hailed in the statement as a welcome change.
In parallel, the percentage of import duties has decreased to 36% from over 50% just three years prior. The main drivers of this increase in revenue were the several taxes sources. From Rs. 1,751 billion to Rs. 2,447 billion, income tax receipts increased significantly—by 40%.
Banks, the petroleum and oil lubricants (POL) business, the textile industry, the electricity sector, the food industry, and a number of service industries were among the major income tax payers. Up to mid-February, FBR receipts increased by 30% to Rs. 5.1 trillion. Notable rise was also seen in sales tax receipts, which increased by 19% from Rs. 1,480 billion to Rs. 1,766 billion.
POL, the electricity sector, the food sector, the automobile sector, the iron and steel sector, and the chemical sector were important growth drivers.
The amount collected in federal excise taxes increased significantly by 61%, from Rs. 190 billion to Rs. 307 billion.
Taxes on tobacco goods, the cement industry, drinks, airlines, fertilizers, and the automobile sector were the main causes of this increase. The amount collected in customs duties increased by 14%, from Rs. 552 billion to Rs. 629 billion.
The POL, automobile, iron and steel, electronics, and food industries were among the main donors to customs duties.
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