With circular debt based on liquefied natural gas (LNG) reaching Rs200 billion and global prices reaching new highs, a parliamentary panel on Tuesday urged the government to avoid selling expensive imported gas to residential consumers who do not have the means to pay and instead direct imports to productive sectors.

The Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum’s advice came after Petroleum Secretary Dr. Arshad Mahmood stated that the LNG-related circular debt had amounted to Rs104 billion over the last three years due to the diversion of LNG to residential consumers during the winter. He predicted that if the practice continued, the debt would rise by Rs90 billion this year.

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