ISLAMABAD: India has come up with a surprise offer: to cater to the entirety of Pakistan’s petroleum products by exporting 50 million tons of POL products per annum. It has also offered to provide POL products at much lower prices than that at which Pakistan imports them from the Gulf market currently.
The neighbouring country extended this unique offer during two-day talks on the trade of petroleum products held here on Monday, a senior official who attended the meeting told The News.
The Indian delegation headed by P Kalyanasundaram, director International Cooperation and Corporate Affairs of Indian Petroleum Ministry, consists of business representatives from leading Indian companies including the Petroleum Federation of India (PetroFed), IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, Reliance Industries and Essar Oil Ltd.
The Pakistani delegation headed by Shabbir Ahmed, joint secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry, includes representatives of commerce, foreign affairs and finance ministries, Ogra, Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan State Oil, Parco and Attock Refinery Ltd.
A source said India had developed the capacity to refine 250 million tons of petroleum products, while Pakistan’s refining capacity currently stands at 20 million tons per annum.
In the first day of talks, India has expressed that it can export furnace oil, petrol, diesel and jet fuel to Pakistan. The country has also agreed to export petroleum products through every kind of transportation, including pipeline, ships, tankers and railways.
India said during the meetings that it has the biggest refining complex in South Asia and exports Euro-3 quality petroleum products to Europe.
Meanwhile, only Euro-1 quality products are being produced in Pakistan currently, said the official, adding that Pakistan currently imports 110,000 tons petrol per month, 300,000 tons of diesel, and 600,000 tons of furnace oil. The country also imports 85 percent petroleum products to meet its energy requirements.
The official said both countries would hold talks today (Tuesday) on the price of POL products and other related issues. Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Dr Asim Hussain, while talking to the Indian delegation, said there was potential for trade of petroleum products between Pakistan and India, and initiation of talks would prove to be a step in the right direction. He welcomed the Indian members to Pakistan and said Pakistan was interested in importing furnace oil and diesel. He also briefed the visiting delegation about the Tapi pipeline project. Earlier, Petroleum Secretary Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry said this dialogue would provide an opportunity for Indian businessmen to explore potential areas for trade with Pakistan.