Power, gas circular debt more than Rs3000 billion: Mian Zahid Hussain

On Wednesday, Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance and Former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain said imposing economic sanctions on Russia is flawed. Sanctions are not limited to Russia, affecting other countries more than the targeted country.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Russia has been preparing for an invasion of Ukraine for years, raising its foreign exchange reserves to over $650 billion to deal with sanctions, while developing countries were caught unaware and now facing a serious crisis.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that inflation is rising, and the currency’s value is declining in the majority of the countries.

Even the developed countries which have imposed sanctions are being influenced by their decisions, and the anger of their people is increasing, he said.

Russia’s oil and gas sector has not been sanctioned, but multinational companies are cutting off investments in the industry, fuelling the crisis.

Mian Zahid Hussain added that the energy situation in Pakistan is worse than in many other countries.

When the present government came to power, the circular debt was 1400 billion rupees which are now 2500 billion rupees, and by 2025, it will be at least 4000 billion rupees.

He informed that the current government had inherited a gas sector circular debt of Rs350 billion, which has now been increased to Rs650 billion.

According to a report, gas worth four billion dollars is being wasted annually, controlled by investing 500 million dollars. If managed, the country will not need any IMF loans.

Pakistan is facing multiple challenges, and now it is not in a position to avoid bold reforms necessary to save the country, he warned.

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