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Pakistan to seek waiver from US for Iran gas pipeline project | The Express Tribune

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The federal government has decided to seek a lifting of US sanctions on the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, in a bid to fulfill its contractual obligations with Iran.

The interim government chose to build part of the 80-kilometer pipeline on its territory in order to avoid possible legal disputes with Iran in international courts.

Pakistan feared it would face an $80 billion fine if it lost the case in an international court, hence the decision to continue with its section of the pipeline while simultaneously seeking a US waiver from sanctions over the proposed gas pipeline. IP gas pipeline.

In an informal chat with journalists, Oil Minister Musadik Malik confirmed that Pakistan would seek an exemption from the United States.

Learn more: Iran seeks extension of gas pipeline deal

He expressed reservations about the increase in gas prices, specifying: “Whether it is a decrease or an increase in dollar prices, the requests for increases come from companies.” Malik added: “Only 25 to 27 percent of citizens have access to gas, while more than 70 percent do not have access. »

He pointed out that the use of locally produced gas for power generation would bring down the cost of electricity to between Rs 10-12 per unit, adding that the government aims to provide cheap electricity to the masses to save gas.

On the imposition of sales tax on petroleum products, Malik said, “I am not aware of the implementation of sales tax.” He reiterated Pakistan’s position seeking a waiver from the United States regarding the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project.

“We cannot stand US sanctions. We will present our position to the US,” Malik said. “Iran has been told repeatedly that we need its gas. We want to complete this project but without any sanctions.”

Malik highlighted the efficiency of six LNG-fired power plants in Pakistan, saying: “These plants can run on local gas, enabling lower-cost power generation.” He highlighted the government’s policy to provide a level playing field for all stakeholders in the energy sector.

“We have accumulated a circular debt of Rs5,000 billion in the energy sector,” Malik said, emphasizing the need for reforms to ease the debt burden.

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