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Israr Khan

Islamabad, Pakistan
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About Israr
Israr Khan is a journalist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. He has more than 17-year experience in reporting and writing with Pakistan’s leading English language newspapers and international media and has enough skills in development sector research.
Currently, Mr. Khan is working as an Economic and Financial reporter with Pakistan’s leading English language daily ‘The News International.' He has also worked as Editor for the US-based online news website ‘Pangea Today’ where he covered Afghanistan and Pakistan region. He is also the ‘Country Representative’ for the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC)--a Swiss-based media assistance group that fights for the protection of journalists around the globe and enjoys the UN special consultative status. He has also worked as ‘Administrative Assistant’ with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Asia-Pacific.
Furthermore, he has extensive expertise in infrastructure research while working with global organizations such as the United States-based FirmoGraphs (******) and Grassroots Research® (******).
Mr. Khan has also worked as a fixer and translator with foreign media groups including the United States National Public Radio (NPR), the Canadian CBC Television, The Australian Newspaper, Sunday Times, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Languages
English Pashto Urdu
Services
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
+5
Skills
Business Finance Current Affairs
+8
Portfolio

SNGPL seeks 147% gas price hike, 3rd time in one year

25 Mar 2024  |  www.geo.tv
The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) has submitted a petition to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) for a 147% increase in gas prices for FY 2024-25, which would be the third hike within a year. The proposed increase would raise the average gas price to Rs4,446.89 per mmbtu due to a projected revenue shortfall of Rs189.18 billion. Public hearings are being held in Lahore and Peshawar to discuss the matter. The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has also sought a price increase. The textile industry, represented by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) and Lahore Chambers, plans to oppose the hike, particularly questioning the high unaccounted for gas (UFG) rates and the rationale behind certain expenses.

SNGPL seeks 147pc gas price hike, 3rd time in one year

24 Mar 2024  |  thenews.com.pk
The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) has submitted a petition to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) for a 147 percent increase in gas prices for FY 2024-25, marking the third such request within a year. The hike, if approved, is expected to exacerbate inflation and burden the poorer population. SNGPL, serving over 7.22 million consumers, faces a revenue shortfall of Rs189.18 billion. The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) and Lahore Chambers plan to oppose the increase, particularly questioning the SNGPL's high unaccounted for gas (UFG) rates and the rationale behind certain expenses. Ogra conducted hearings in Karachi and Quetta for a similar petition by the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), which seeks a price increase due to a revenue shortfall of Rs79.63 billion.

LPG price up by Rs1.57/kg for this month

01 Jan 2024  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The caretaker government of Pakistan has increased the price of a domestic 11.8-kilogramme liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder by Rs18.52 for January 2024, as per a notification from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra). The LPG price per kilogram has risen from Rs254.86 in December to Rs256.43 in January. The increase is attributed to a 1.6% rise in the Saudi Aramco-CP and a 0.86% decrease in the average dollar exchange rate. The new pricing will affect different cylinder sizes, with the price of a 45.4kg commercial cylinder increasing by Rs71.278. The producer price of LPG, assuming a composition of 40% propane and 60% butane, has been set at Rs177,644.20 per tonne, excluding the petroleum levy and general sales tax (GST). The marketing, distribution, and transportation margins have been set at Rs35,000 per tonne, with an 18% GST applied on these margins.

Another Rs4.66 per unit hike in power bills expected next month

01 Jan 2024  |  www.geo.tv
Electricity consumers in Pakistan may face an additional Rs33 billion burden if NEPRA approves a proposed Rs4.66 per unit increase in power prices for January 2024 bills, due to fuel adjustment for November 2023. NEPRA held a public hearing on CPPA's plea, which represented Discos. The hearing addressed concerns about operating power plants on imported fuel and the shutdown of cost-effective plants. A 13% decrease in electricity consumption and reliance on expensive imported LNG fuel in November 2023 has increased financial pressure on consumers. NEPRA is committed to enforcing its decisions and has taken legal actions against Discos for overbilling. Recent loadshedding was attributed to grid station failures, reduced hydel generation, and gas supply issues. The Power Division is working to minimize shortfalls by using furnace oil to compensate for the LNG shortage.

Weekly inflation stays at six-month high on food, gas prices

14 Dec 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
Pakistan's weekly inflation rate remained at a six-month high of 43.16 percent for the week ending on December 14, driven by significant price increases in food items and gas. The Sensitive Price Indicator slightly decreased by 0.06 percent week-on-week. The State Bank of Pakistan has kept the interest rate at 22 percent, with a total increase of 15 percentage points over the last two years. Gas prices surged by 1108.6 percent over the year, while prices of sugar, pulses, eggs, and rice also saw sharp increases. The inflation rate varied across different income groups, with the middle quintile experiencing the highest weekly inflation at 46.99 percent. The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics reported changes in prices for various commodities, with some items like sugar and pulses experiencing price hikes, while others like potatoes and tomatoes saw price reductions.

Gas tariff increase fails to cut Pakistan’s Rs2.8 trillion circular debt pile

14 Dec 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Pakistan's gas sector circular debt remains at Rs2.8 trillion despite tariff hikes, with no significant reduction expected. The Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum discussed strategies to address the debt and the urea shortfall. Daily gas consumption exceeds production, with fertilizer companies being major consumers. The committee also discussed gas tariff rates, load shedding, and the regularization of contingent employees. The meeting included senators, the Special Secretary for Petroleum Division, the Chairman of OGRA, and other officials.

SSGC to halt gas supply to power plants amid severe shortage

05 Dec 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd. (SSGC) will suspend gas supply to gas-based power plants in Pakistan from December 5, 2023, to February 29, 2024, due to a significant reduction in domestic gas availability and increased demand, particularly in Balochistan. The company has experienced a severe deficit in gas supplies, declining by over 39 percent in the past six years. The suspension is in accordance with the gas sale agreement, which allows for disconnection during high-demand winter months, prioritizing domestic sector supplies as per federal government policy.

PITC, Discos question Nepra report on excessive billing

04 Dec 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The Power Information Technology Company (PITC) and power distribution companies (DISCOs) have raised concerns about the accuracy of a recent report by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) regarding excessive billing during July and August 2023. Nepra's report, released on December 4, 2023, alleged deceptive meter reading and billing practices by DISCOs. PITC and DISCOs argue that Nepra used incorrect data and unfair sampling methods, leading to exaggerated findings. The Ministry of Energy has formed an independent committee to review Nepra's findings before making a final decision.

Government says gas to be provided only for 8 hours in winters

01 Dec 2023  |  geo.tv
Caretaker Energy Minister Muhammad Ali announced that due to a gas shortage, gas will only be available for 8 hours a day during the winter season in Pakistan. Two LNG cargoes have been arranged for December 2023, with plans for more in January 2024. The government has increased the fixed gas tariff and is trying to align it with the cost of LPG, particularly affecting urban areas. The power sector, tandoors, and the fertiliser sector are insulated from the tariff increase, while commercial tariffs have been equalized. The CNG sector tariff has risen to 80% of petrol prices. The government has also frozen the energy sector's circular debt and stopped new gas connections, signaling a future shift to LPG for households.

Minister warns Discos chairmen, CEOs over power theft

30 Nov 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
Federal Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari warned chairmen and CEOs of power distribution companies (Discos) against electricity theft, calling it 'economic terrorism' and detrimental to Pakistan's economy. He announced strict actions against any involved employees and urged the use of technology to combat theft and improve customer service. The minister's directives come as power sector circular debt hits Rs2.4 trillion, with Discos' inefficiencies highlighted in NEPRA's State of Industry Report 2022-23 as a significant contributor to the debt.

Chinese giant BYD mulls investment in Pakistan's EV sector

24 Nov 2023  |  geo.tv
Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD is exploring investment opportunities in Pakistan's EV sector. A delegation visited Pakistan, facilitated by the Board of Investment, to meet with government officials and potential local partners. BYD, a Fortune 500 company and a global leader in EV manufacturing, is recognized for its presence in automobile, rail transit, new energy, and electronics industries. The company is a significant competitor to Tesla and may soon surpass it as the largest EV manufacturer. The Government of Pakistan has expressed its commitment to supporting foreign investors like BYD.

Two export advisory councils set up to boost growth, exports

23 Nov 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
The Pakistani government has established two Export Advisory Councils (EACs) to address the continuous monthly contraction in exports, particularly in textiles. The councils will provide recommendations to the Ministry of Commerce to boost exports and job creation. The Export Advisory Council for Textiles consists of 16 members, including nine from the private sector, while the non-textile Export Advisory Council includes 14 private sector members. These councils will meet monthly and are chaired by the Minister for Commerce. The country has experienced a decline in goods exports ranging from 3.25 percent to 26.2 percent year-on-year from October 2022 to August 2023, with textile exports falling by 6.3 percent from July to October of FY24.

Short-term inflation surges by massive 10pc in a week

16 Nov 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Weekly inflation in Pakistan surged by nearly 10 percent in the week ending November 16, driven by a five-fold increase in gas prices and rising food costs. The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) showed a 41.9 percent increase compared to the same week last year. The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics reported that inflation has been in double digits for most of the current and last fiscal years, exacerbated by currency devaluation and higher energy tariffs. The SPI inflation for the lowest income group was 35.72 percent, while for the highest income group, it was 39.67 percent. Major price increases were observed in gas, tea, masoor pulse, chicken, garlic, and other essential items.

More misery for masses as short-term inflation surges by 10%

16 Nov 2023  |  www.geo.tv
In Islamabad, the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) surged by 10% in the week ending November 16, driven by a significant increase in gas tariff and rising food costs. The SPI, which tracks the price movement of kitchen items, stood at 41.9% compared to the same week last year. Major price hikes were observed in gas, tea, masoor pulse, chicken, and other essentials, while prices for items like electricity and tomatoes decreased. The inflation rate varied across income groups, with the lowest earners facing a 35.72% rate and higher earners experiencing a 39.67% rate.

KUFPEC, OGDCL forge partnership with MoU signing

08 Nov 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) and Pakistani Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on evaluating business opportunities in Pakistan and international upstream projects. The agreement includes joint studies, technical expert exchanges, and knowledge sharing. A high-level KUFPEC delegation visited OGDCL's head office, and both companies committed to forming working groups to implement the MoU's objectives. The collaboration aims to leverage Kuwait's expertise in production optimization and strengthen KUFPEC's presence in Pakistan's Exploration and Production sector.

Quarterly tariff adjustment: Nepra may allow Discos, KE to collect Rs1.25 per unit from power consumers

07 Nov 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is considering allowing Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and K-Electric to collect an additional Rs1.25 per unit from consumers under the quarterly tariff adjustment for December 2023 to February 2024. This adjustment, discussed during a public hearing, aims to transfer Rs22.92 billion to power consumers, covering capacity charges, variable operation and maintenance costs, and other fees. Despite reductions in inflation and crude oil prices, tariffs will not decrease. The final decision is pending, but if approved, it will apply to all Discos and K-Electric customers, excluding lifeline customers.

Afghan Families In Limbo Ahead Of Mass Deportations From Pakistan

01 Nov 2023  |  www.barrons.com
Afghans living in Pakistan are rushing to the borders as the Pakistani government enforces a deadline for 1.7 million undocumented individuals to leave the country or face arrest and deportation.

Discos allowed to charge additional Rs0.4/unit in November bills

01 Nov 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has approved an additional charge of Re0.4014 per unit on electricity bills for November 2023, due to a shortfall in payments for power consumed in September. The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G) had initially requested a higher tariff increase of Re0.5471 per unit. The additional charges will apply to all consumer categories except electric vehicle charging stations and lifeline consumers. The National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDCL) also reported provisional Transmission and Transformation losses of 346.717 gigawatt-hours for September 2023.

Rate cut hopes fizzle out as inflation hits 29.2% in November

01 Nov 2023  |  www.geo.tv
Pakistan's inflation rate rose to 29.2% in November 2023, up from 26.9% in October, driven by increased gas tariffs as part of the IMF's bailout conditions. This surge in inflation, particularly in housing and utility costs, has surpassed the government's target and the SBP's projected range for the fiscal year. Food inflation also increased, while some categories like alcoholic beverages and tobacco saw declines. Core inflation, excluding food and energy, reached 18.6% year-on-year. Urban inflation was higher than rural, and the Wholesale Price Index and Sensitive Price Indicator also rose. Despite some price decreases in food and non-food items, overall inflation remains high, with significant year-on-year increases in essential goods and services.

LPG prices cut by 3.8% for November as rupee strengthens

01 Nov 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
The Pakistani government has reduced LPG prices by 3.8%, or 9.95 rupees per kilogram, for November 2023, following the strengthening of the local currency against the US dollar. The new prices, effective from November 1, reflect a decrease after three consecutive monthly increases. The price reduction is attributed to the decrease in the average dollar exchange rate by 6%, despite a 1.15% increase in Saudi Aramco's Propane and Butane prices. Domestic cylinders will now cost Rs2,962.17, down from Rs3,079.64, and commercial cylinders will see a reduction of Rs451.73. Ogra has set the producer price of LPG at Rs173,069.32 per tonne, with various taxes and margins applied.

Rs301bn over four months takes circular debt to Rs2.61tr

31 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The circular debt in Pakistan's power sector has surged to Rs2.611 trillion by October 2023, driven by inefficiencies in power generation, distribution, and dues collection. Despite government measures like raising electricity prices under IMF pressure, the debt continues to grow, exacerbated by issues with K-Electric, subsidy disputes, and delayed tariff adjustments. The financial burden on consumers remains high, with significant losses and under-recoveries reported by distribution companies.

HEC privatisation completed, IMS Engineering plans to upgrade and expand facility

31 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The government has finalized the privatization of the Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) by transferring share certificates to IMS Engineering (Pvt) Limited. The Rs1.4 billion transaction includes additional liabilities of Rs752 million to the Bank of Khyber. IMS Engineering plans to upgrade the facility with German-made machinery and aims to boost exports significantly. The privatization is expected to enhance productivity, create jobs, and increase tax revenue and foreign exchange earnings. This marks the first strategic entity-level transaction since 2015, following several unsuccessful attempts to privatize HEC.

Nepra to recover Rs3/unit from KE industrial consumers in two months

31 Oct 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has revised its decision to recover Rs3 per unit from K-Electric's industrial consumers over a two-month period. This follows the Supreme Court's ruling that the government can withdraw subsidies. The recovery pertains to a relief package approved by the federal government for July-December 2019, which was later challenged legally. Nepra's decision was communicated to the Ministry of Energy and awaits notification as per the Nepra Act.

Senate body wants WB-funded project ‘irregularities’ investigated

31 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The Senate’s Standing Committee on Power convened to address concerns over contract awards for a World Bank-funded transmission line project from Dasu hydropower station to Islamabad. A three-member probe committee, led by the caretaker federal energy minister, was appointed to investigate alleged irregularities. The committee also discussed the impact of high power tariffs on businesses, efforts to restore electricity in Mirani Dam Feeder, and development schemes awarded to Multan Electric Power Company. Key stakeholders include the Ministry of Energy, NESPAK, and Quetta Electric Supply Company.

Pakistan to ask US to waive curbs on Iran gas pipeline

30 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Pakistan is set to request a waiver from US sanctions on the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, with Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik emphasizing the need for exemptions to manage the country's energy requirements. The caretaker government had previously delayed this request due to geopolitical factors. Malik highlighted the disparity in gas access, the high cost of RLNG, and the potential for cheaper electricity through local gas. He also mentioned the import of oil from Russia and the need for reforms to address the circular debt in the energy sector.

Govt okays massive hike in gas prices

30 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The caretaker federal cabinet of Pakistan has approved a significant increase in natural gas tariffs by up to 172% for various sectors, effective from November 1, to comply with IMF demands and control the gas sector's circular debt. The new tariffs affect domestic consumers, tandoors, industries, and commercial sectors. The Ministry of Energy issued a notification detailing the new rates, which vary across different consumer categories. The cabinet also approved the Haj Policy-2024, measures to improve Pakistan International Airlines, and granted international flight operations for Fly Jinnah. Additionally, the cabinet reviewed decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee and approved various exemptions and protocols to enhance trade and revenue.

NEPRA awards 10-Year Licence to PPIB to run power auctions in Pakistan

30 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The National Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has granted a 10-year licence to the Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB) to act as an independent auction administrator in Pakistan's power sector. This licence will enable PPIB to implement the Competitive Trading Bilateral Contract Market (CTBCM) to procure electricity through transparent and efficient bidding. The initiative aims to help state-run distribution companies meet their capacity obligations. The decision follows public consultations and stakeholder feedback, with PPIB's role being extended to facilitate both private and public sector power projects.

Unlocking the Power of Marketing Analytics - How Data, Analytics, and Marketing Combine for Success

29 Oct 2023  |  realisrar.medium.com
Marketing has evolved into a data-driven science, leveraging the synergy of data, analytics, and marketing to empower businesses. Data provides the foundation by offering insights into customer behaviors and market trends, while analytics interprets this data to uncover actionable insights and measure ROI. Marketing then uses these insights to craft personalized campaigns, optimize content delivery, and maximize customer engagement. The integration of these elements into Marketing Analytics enables data-driven decision-making, efficient resource allocation, and a competitive edge in the market.

Navigating the Digital Marketing Maze: The Role of SEM, SMM, Email Marketing, and Advertising

28 Oct 2023  |  realisrar.medium.com
Marketing has transformed in the digital age, with strategies like search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), email marketing, and advertising playing pivotal roles. SEM increases website visibility through paid search results, SMM builds digital communities on social platforms, email marketing fosters personalized relationships, and advertising serves as a versatile tool across various platforms. These components work in synergy to create a powerful digital marketing ensemble that amplifies a brand's impact and drives business success.

Weekly inflation eases on lower food prices

27 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Weekly inflation in Pakistan eased slightly in the week ending October 26, driven by a decline in the prices of certain food items, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) dropped by 0.33 percent from the previous week, though it remains high year-on-year at 29.65 percent. Prices of chicken, onions, rice, pulses, sugar, and wheat flour decreased, while prices of tomatoes, potatoes, eggs, and milk increased. The inflation rate for the lowest income group stood at 28.66 percent, while for the highest income group, it was 29.61 percent.

Nepra hikes tariff by Rs2.75/unit for three months

26 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved a tariff increase of Rs2.7492 per unit for power distribution companies and K-Electric, effective for three months starting April 2024. This adjustment, aimed at covering periodic costs, will allow the collection of over Rs85.3 billion from consumers, excluding lifeline users. Including K-Electric, the total collection may exceed Rs90 billion, with additional taxes further increasing the financial burden on consumers. The decision follows a public hearing and will replace existing quarterly adjustments set to expire in March 2024.

Exports rise by double digits in Oct, trade deficit narrows

25 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Exports in Pakistan grew by 13.55 percent year-on-year in October, marking the second consecutive month of expansion after a year of contraction. The country exported goods worth $2.71 billion in October, up from $2.39 billion the previous year. Imports increased to $4.81 billion, resulting in a trade deficit that narrowed by 4.5 percent to $2.1 billion. From July to October 2023/24, total exports increased slightly to $9.62 billion, while imports fell by 18.5 percent to $17 billion, reducing the trade deficit by 34.7 percent to $7.4 billion. The trade deficit in services widened by 121 percent to $688 million in July-September 2023-24 due to higher demand for foreign services.

Govt hikes RLNG tariff for Sui gas companies

24 Oct 2023  |  www.geo.tv
The government has approved a 3.8% increase in RLNG prices for Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company for October 2023, attributed to rising RLNG Brent prices. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority announced the new prices, effective from October 1, 2023, with SNGPL consumers now paying $13.3332 per MMBTU and SSGC consumers $13.8716 per MMBTU. This follows a year of fluctuating RLNG prices, with multiple reductions and increases. Pakistan relies on LNG imports for nearly one-third of its energy needs, and the recent price adjustments reflect changes in international LNG market conditions.

Gas crisis likely to aggravate amid delay in ECC’s gas pricing reforms

22 Oct 2023  |  www.geo.tv
The delay in the Economic Coordination Committee's gas pricing reforms, aimed at standardizing tariffs for all fertilizer manufacturers, is likely to worsen Pakistan's gas crisis and threaten the sector's sustainability. The gas sector's circular debt has risen to Rs2.9 trillion. The government's reforms intended to unify feed gas prices for the fertilizer industry at Rs1,260/MMBTU to stabilize urea prices and ensure a surplus in the Gas Development Surcharge. However, the formation of an inter-ministerial committee to recommend gas allocation and pricing has caused a delay. Over the past five years, feed gas tariffs have increased by over 235%, and disparities in input costs have led to market distortions. Unifying gas rates could generate a GDS pool of approximately Rs90 billion for gas-producing provinces and serve as a targeted subsidy for small farmers.

Pakistan signs agreements to establish KSA labour training centres

20 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Pakistan has signed Letters of Intent with Saudi conglomerates FNRCO and Maharah to establish labour training centres aimed at enhancing employment opportunities for Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia. The agreements, signed by Jawad Sohrab Malik, focus on skill development to meet the demands of the Saudi labour market. FNRCO and Maharah are highlighted as leading companies in their respective fields, with the Government of Pakistan taking proactive steps to foster international collaboration and employment.

Nepra, intervenors surprised Discos’ faulty plan ignores 8,000MW cost-effective renewables

20 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and intervenors criticized the flawed five-year power acquisition plan by state-owned Discos, which ignored 8,000MW of cost-effective renewable projects. The plan lacked an assessment of its impact on consumer tariffs and failed to address critical issues like electricity evacuation and system constraints. Nepra emphasized the need for system reliability and questioned the financial implications for consumers. Senator Nauman Wazir raised additional concerns about the plan's data and its alignment with growth and off-grid solarization.

Delay in ECC’s gas pricing reforms to amplify gas crisis

20 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has delayed the implementation of gas pricing reforms aimed at standardizing tariffs for fertilizer manufacturers, exacerbating Pakistan's gas crisis and threatening the sector's sustainability. The gas sector's circular debt has surged to Rs2.9 trillion, with disparities in input costs causing market distortions. The Ministry of Energy's proposed reforms aimed to unify feed gas prices, stabilize urea prices, and optimize gas reserves. However, the ECC's decision to form an inter-ministerial committee has caused a delay, with the next meeting scheduled after Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar's return from China. Experts suggest that unifying gas prices could generate significant revenue for gas-producing provinces and stabilize the market.

UK’s EY finalised as financial adviser for PIA privatisation

20 Oct 2023  |  www.geo.tv
The Pakistani government has approved the UK's Ernst & Young (EY) as the financial adviser for the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). The Privatisation Commission Board, chaired by caretaker Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad, selected EY from eight proposals. A negotiating committee will finalize the financial services agreement. This move aligns with caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar's directive to expedite PIA's privatisation. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has also approved a Rs8 billion bridge financing package for PIA. The board extended financial services agreements for the House Building Finance Corporation Limited and the First Women Bank Limited and discussed the long-pending privatisation of Pak-China Fertiliser Limited. The privatisation is part of a fiscal discipline plan under an IMF bailout, following PIA's operational crisis and suspension of flights to Europe and the UK since 2020.

Boost Your Fiverr SEO: A Step-by-Step Guide to Skyrocket Your Gig’s Visibility

19 Oct 2023  |  realisrar.medium.com
The article offers a detailed guide on improving Fiverr SEO to increase gig visibility. It covers keyword research, optimizing gig titles and descriptions, using tags, uploading quality visuals, competitive pricing, delivering excellent customer service, promoting gigs externally, encouraging reviews, maintaining consistency, and analyzing performance for adjustments. The author shares a personal success story, demonstrating the guide's effectiveness in increasing gig impressions and clicks, and invites readers to visit their Fiverr profile.

Govt puts sugar exports on hold to avert domestic shortages

18 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The caretaker government of Pakistan has decided to halt sugar exports to prevent domestic shortages and price hikes. The Sugar Advisory Board, chaired by Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz, rejected a request from sugar millers to export 0.5 million tons of sugar before the new crushing season. The government aims to assess full production and consumption before allowing any exports. Last year's export led to a significant price surge, prompting the current ban. The government plans to implement a track and trace system to monitor sugar production and consumption. Reports indicate a potential lower sugarcane yield due to adverse weather and pest attacks. The 2020 Sugar Inquiry Committee report highlighted issues of price-fixing, fake exports, and money laundering, urging the need for transparency and accountability in the sugar industry.

WB set to provide privatisation template to Islamabad within a week

11 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The World Bank has pledged to support Pakistan's power sector reform by providing a comprehensive privatization template for Power Distribution Companies (Discos) within a week. In a meeting with Caretaker Federal Minister of Privatisation, Fawad Hasan Fawad, the World Bank emphasized the importance of a well-structured transaction template. The government aims to support struggling Discos and reduce financial burdens through private-sector investments, with a two-step strategy involving initial concessional management control followed by divestment. The World Bank will collaborate with industry experts to refine the template, ensuring it meets Pakistan's energy sector needs and promotes long-term sustainability.

Power theft: Sahiwal leads with 99% recovery in Punjab

10 Oct 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
Sahiwal has achieved a 99 percent utility charge recovery rate, standing out in Punjab, where four districts have been identified with the highest power theft and low recovery rates. Kasur, Rajanpur, Okara, and Rahim Yar Khan have non-recovery rates ranging from 12 to 16 percent. The Power Division, with data from fiscal year 2022-23, shows that Lahore had the highest collections. The federal government's campaign against power theft has led to Rs198.4 billion recovered, major defaulters imprisoned, and a reshaping of public attitudes towards electricity usage. The CEO of PESCO was dismissed, and Lesco had the highest number of FIRs and arrests, leading in recovery figures.

Nepra grants 20-year supplier licences to seven state-run power utility companies

10 Oct 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has issued 20-year supplier licences to seven state-run power distribution companies, allowing them to act as suppliers of last resort. The licences, valid from April 27, 2023, to April 26, 2043, were granted to avoid a legal vacuum after the expiry of the five-year deemed supplier status of existing distribution licensees. The companies will now handle power planning, demand forecasting, procurement, and supply to consumers, including billing and recovery. Nepra may also grant licences to other entities to act as competitive suppliers in the service territories of these distribution companies.

Rs18.4bn recovered in power theft crackdown

08 Oct 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
The Pakistani government's anti-power theft campaign, initiated on September 7, has led to the recovery of Rs18.4 billion. Federal Secretary for Power, Rashid Mahmood Langrial, emphasized the campaign's goal to deter theft and encourage timely bill payments. Major defaulters have been jailed, and the CEO of PESCO was dismissed for poor performance. Across 10 state-run power companies, 28,096 FIRs were filed and 13,778 suspects arrested. LESCO recorded the most FIRs, while the highest number of arrests were in MEPCO's jurisdiction. Recoveries were highest from LESCO, followed by HESCO and PESCO.

Discos seek Nepra nod for Rs3.5/unit additional charges in December bills

01 Oct 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
Ex-Wapda distribution companies have requested Nepra's approval to impose an additional Rs3.5339 per unit charge on consumers in December, mainly to recover previous adjustments of Rs28.325 billion. The cost of local coal generation increased by 59 percent in October 2023, while imported coal costs decreased by 15.96 percent. Power generation from coal decreased significantly, and less electricity was produced from renewable sources compared to the previous year. The CPPA reported a total generation of 9,572GWh with a cost of Rs79.07 billion, leading to a proposed transfer of additional costs to consumers.

Inflation at its lowest levels since December but still higher than government target

01 Oct 2023  |  geo.tv
Pakistan's inflation rate decreased to 26.9% in October 2023, the lowest since December of the previous year, yet still above the government's target of 21% for the fiscal year. The average inflation for the first four months of FY24 was 28.5%. Rural areas experienced higher inflation rates than urban centers. Key contributors to the inflation rate include a drop in food inflation and changes in prices across various categories such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco, recreation, culture, and housing utilities.

Nepra exposes bogus billing by KE, Discos

13 Sep 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has uncovered a widespread trend of deceptive meter reading and billing practices by DISCOS, including K-Electric, during July-August 2023, affecting millions of consumers. An inquiry following numerous complaints revealed discrepancies in meter readings, overbilling, and violations of the Consumer Service Manual (CSM) and approved tariff terms. Nepra recommended legal action against the companies, prompt replacement of defective meters, and corrections to billing discrepancies, particularly for protected/lifeline consumers. The inquiry also suggested that DISCOS' revenue recovery is being adversely impacted by these practices, leading to increased load shedding and operational inefficiencies.

Nepra okays Rs1.53/unit surcharge in KE bills for 12 months

15 Aug 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has approved an additional surcharge of Rs1.52 per unit on K-Electric bills to collect Rs24.5 billion from Karachi consumers over 12 months, starting December 2023. This decision follows a federal government motion to recover funds for a three-year-old collection. A public hearing on August 15, 2023, addressed the surcharge, which aims to settle outstanding amounts to power producers and Power Holding Limited. NEPRA's note criticizes the reliance on surcharges, pointing out the financial strain on consumers and the adverse effects on the economy. It also highlights KE's delayed transition to renewable energy, resulting in higher tariffs and subsidy claims.

Pakistan assures Turkmenistan of support for TAPI pipeline

01 Apr 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The article discusses the commitment of Pakistan to support the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and an offshore gas pipeline involving Russian energy company Gazprom, despite tensions with India over Kashmir. The TAPI pipeline, also known as the 'peace pipeline', is expected to start construction in Pakistan in early 2020 and will supply natural gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The offshore pipeline will transport gas from Gazprom's sources in the Middle East to Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and China. The article also mentions the North-South Pipeline project and the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will benefit from these energy projects. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is involved in facilitating the TAPI project and providing technical assistance for underground gas storages in Pakistan.

Gas to get costlier, available for only 8 hours in winter

30 Mar 2023  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Caretaker Energy Minister Muhammad Ali announced that during winter, gas in Pakistan will be more expensive and available for only 8 hours a day due to shortages. Two LNG cargoes have been arranged for December 2023 and January 2024 to minimize the crisis. The government is adjusting tariffs to bring gas prices closer to LPG costs and has increased the fixed price for low-income users. Tariffs for the power sector and tandoors remain unchanged, while commercial and industrial sectors see tariff equalization and increases. The CNG sector tariff has been raised to 80% of petrol prices. The caretaker government has frozen the energy sector's circular debt, which stands at Rs4.5 trillion, and plans to control power sector losses funded through the federal budget. The Sui companies are facing Rs400 billion in annual losses.

Weekly inflation hits six-month high on food, fuel prices

07 Dec 2022  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Pakistan's weekly inflation rate reached a six-month high of 42.68 percent in the week ending December 7, primarily due to rising food and fuel prices. The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) showed an increase from the previous week's 41.05 percent, with significant price hikes in onions, eggs, electricity charges, moong pulse, and sugar. Conversely, prices of tomatoes, potatoes, chicken farm, diesel, rice basmati broken, vegetable ghee, cooking oil, and wheat flour decreased. The inflation has been persistent since February 2021, influenced by a depreciating rupee, high commodity prices, and increased energy tariffs. The SPI varied for different income groups, with the lowest earners facing 34.79 percent inflation and the highest earners experiencing 41.11 percent. The weekly bulletin indicated that out of 51 monitored items, prices of 15 increased, 14 decreased, and 22 remained unchanged.

March 2022 Water and Wastewater Market Recap

07 Sep 2022  |  blog.firmographs.com
The article provides a recap of significant events in the water industry for March 2022. It discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) final strategic plan for 2022-2026, which includes goals for addressing climate change, public health, and environmental justice. The EPA's budget request for fiscal year 2023 is also mentioned, with a focus on investments in water and wastewater infrastructure. Additionally, the EPA's decision not to regulate perchlorate in drinking water is covered. The article also highlights proposed pollution standards for Washington waters and details capital improvement programs (CIPs) for the City of Arlington and the City of San Diego, noting changes in their planned capital spending. Lastly, it mentions mergers and acquisitions in the Power Generation and Supply Industry and provides a brief note on upcoming meetings and conferences.

Australia's cricket team is in Pakistan for the first time in 24 years. Here's how local authorities plan to keep them safe

Dollar and Gold Prices Soar as Nepra Announces Tariff Hike

21 Oct 2019  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The US dollar has seen a significant rise against the Pakistani rupee, with increases in both the open and interbank markets. Concurrently, gold prices have also surged. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) announced an increase in power tariffs to collect additional revenue over the next fifteen months. This is part of an effort to reduce the power sector's circular debt, which is under pressure from the IMF. The government has allocated substantial subsidies for the power sector in the recent budget, with specific provisions for low electricity consumers, agriculture tube wells, and K-Electric. Nepra's tariff adjustments aim to recover costs from variations in power purchase price, transmission and distribution losses, and other charges. The government has been recommended to maintain a uniform consumer-end tariff nationally.

Pakistan grants 10-year licence to Trafigura for RLNG sale

21 Oct 2019  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Pakistan has awarded a 10-year licence to Trafigura Pakistan for the import and sale of natural gas and RLNG, marking the first private sector LNG import licence in the country. This move is expected to enhance gas availability for industries and ensure better use of LNG terminal capacity. Trafigura's operations are anticipated to aid the financial stability of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) by paying substantial gas transportation charges. The government plans to increase LNG imports by 400 mmcfd by December 2019, with Trafigura competing in a tender for 200 mmcfd. Currently, two LNG terminals are operational, and the PSO imports 600 mmcfd LNG from Qatar, while PLL has contracts for 200 mmcfd, with the rest being secured through spot purchases. In 2018, the second LNG terminal was underutilized, leading to idle capacity charges paid by the government. Trafigura, a minority shareholder in the second re-gas terminal, has been granted spare capacity by PGPLC for LNG import and RLNG sale.

Govt will issue Rs200 bn Sukuk-II to ease power sector circular debt

21 Oct 2019  |  www.thenews.com.pk
Pakistan plans to issue a Rs200 billion 'Pakistan Energy Sukuk-II' after Eid to address the power sector's circular debt, which stands at Rs1410 billion. The Finance Division discussed the transaction with a consortium of banks led by Meezan Bank. The Sukuk will be used to alleviate the liquidity crisis in the energy sector, with the government owing substantial amounts to oil and gas suppliers. Meezan Bank will be the lead arranger, and Power Holding (pvt) Ltd, owned by the Power Division, will be the issuer. The Sukuk will be listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and have a 10-year maturity with a profit rate of KIBOR plus 80 basis points. The government will provide a sovereign guarantee, and the Ministry of Finance will give direct debit authority to investors through the State Bank of Pakistan.
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