ISLAMABAD    -   The government has said that de­spite international energy crisis in the country, the petroleum reserves are available at record level claiming that the power sector circular debt has been reduced by Rs214 billion (9pc) during the last three months.

“Our petroleum reserves are at re­cord level. As of March 31, 2022, the country’s circular debt was Rs 2467 billion, which was slashed by Rs 214 billion till June 30,” Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir said this while addressing a press conference along with State Minister for Petro­leum Musadik Malik here. He further said that all the due pay­ments have been made and all the pend­ing issues resolved.

The minister said inflows were ex­pected in the coming days as a staff-lev­el agreement had been reached with the International Monetary Fund that would eventually stabilise the rupee and bring the balance-of-payments crisis to an end. He assured that the government had started taking measures to stabilise the economy and the inflows and outflows of dollars were now “balanced”. The de­mand of petroleum products is on the decline, he said. “And by September or October, Pakistanis will also see that in­flation will start decreasing,” he said. State Minister for Petroleum Division Musadik Malik said imports of petro­leum products between June 2021 and June 2022 had reduced by around 9pc.

In June 2021, the sale of petrol was 778000MT which had dropped to 704000 MT in June 2022. Similarly, the HSD sale also had declined by 8 to 9pc during the period. In June 2021 the HSD sales was 789000 MT which has reduced to 712000 MT in June this year. He said that this has significantly reduced our import bill, adding that the government was expecting further improvement on this front in July.

He said his ministry was managing the matters on a daily basis and was not al­lowing any unnecessary imports. The consumption of petrol has reduced by 30pc as compare to July 2021. In July last year the consumption of petrol was 818000MT and as per our projection the consumption will be 580000MT pet­rol will be used. Similarly, the consump­tion of HSD has shown a decline of 45 to 50pc in comparison with previous year. There was no risk of a shortage of petro­leum products as the country had “re­cord-high” petrol and diesel reserves, he said. He explained that the petroleum reserves are enough for 34 days, while HSD are enough for 66 days.