‘Circular debt needs political will to be resolved’


The on going trade liberalization process with India is not only a good initiative to stimulate the economic activities in the country but also a positive step for highly import based oil sector.
Pakistan facing huge energy crisis can import refined petroleum products from across the border to save freight cost. The petroleum products could be supplied to Pakistan through pipelines from neighboring provinces of India like Rajasthan. This was said by Kaleem A Siddiqui, renowned energy expert, who served many oil companies and institutions both in the country and abroad, in an exclusive interview with Profit recently. According to a statistics Pakistan has 12 million tons refining capacity which satisfies only half of its annual requirements, while India exports about 25 per cent of its 185 million tons refining capacity.
Siddiqui who previously served Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Byco as President Petroleum Marketing, said that the unresolved circular debt issue needs to have only political will. However, during the last four years no serious efforts were made by the ruling party to resolve the debt issue which what he thought was one the major reasons of present energy crisis in the country. Siddiqui was of the view that the circular debt crisis has crippled the capacity of refineries to process crude oil. He explained that the country had to import oil because refineries in the country were only utilising 60 per cent capacity because of financial constraints. Until and unless the presently consumed energy particularly electricity was made more mixed through generating the power from solar, thermal, coal, gas and other alternative and cheaper sources, the crisis were unlikely to be minimized as the country was depending on furnace oil for meeting its 58 percent energy needs.
As a long term strategy, the country needed to focus on the cheaper sources of energy mainly thermal, coal and gas. He said that the Underground Coal Gasification project at Thar was viable and needed to be supported by the government to make the project successful. According to him Present and previous governments, during the last 60 years have not taken any serious action and none of them have made a long-term plan for this very important sector of the country. Pakistan has all the resources: we have one of the biggest deposits of coal in the world, more than Saudi Arabian’s petroleum deposit. We can produce energy and power not only for our use but we can also export it to other countries. Unfortunately, all the governments have their own agendas and they do not have any concerns regarding these issues.
We have to make long-term, energy-friendly policies and make some sort of law that all upcoming governments should continue to follow. In our country every new government makes their own policies and does not own the previous governments’ road map which is mainly why the problems are getting worse. He welcomed the some positive developments related to purchase of gas from Iran and laying down the pipe line. Talking about the newly made his own company ‘Rehkal Pakistan’ Siddiqui said that the company which will initially deal with the business of lubricant product lines with highly qualitative products and new designs of packaging in the country. All arrangements have been finalized to introduce series of lubricant oils for all kind vehicles; will introduce the new products across the country next month.
The new company and its products would hopefully be in the market while catering a larger segment.
In reply to a query, he said that his company has focused on the quality of the products apart from making highly impressive designs of packaging and marketing tools. The price of the new products would also be highly competitive for at least the dealers and marketers. Though the absence of pumping stations and its own outlets the new products could face competitions in the market but due to its guaranteed quality and others components of uniqueness the company’s products would make its place in the market in a short period of time. Having a background and experiences in the oil marketing field, Siddiqui who is now Chief Executive Officer of Rehkal Pakistan, claimed that his company would successfully introduce different kinds of lubricant, motor diesel oils and industrial oil in various phases. The company’s products would be available at existing petrol pumps and other places. We are also bringing industrial lubricants for the valuable customers.
“Market is always saturated but as new entrants we have to work hard and it is our firm belief that due to our high-quality product, we would manage to create our place in the market.”
Brief profile of Kalim A Siddiqui: Chief Executive Officer, Rehkal Pakistan Mr. Kalim A. Siddiqui, now a Chief Executive Officer of Rehkal Pakistan is a former Managing Director of Pakistan State Oil and former President of Petroleum Marketing Business with Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited. Mr. Siddiqui, holding a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Chemistry, has broad-based, global experience in management, business development, system re-engineering and streamlining processes, managing supply chain, marketing and sales, overall operations management in the oil industry for over 33 years holding various senior management positions. Mr. Siddiqui has served as Chairman Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) and has held directorships in various reputable companies, & professional and educational institutes including Pakistan Refinery Limited, Pak-Arab Pipeline Company, Asia Petroleum Limited, Agrimall, Pak-Grease Manufacturing Company Limited, Petroleum Institute of Pakistan, Pakistan Advertisers Society and Lahore University of Management Sciences. Before joining PSO, he served in Caltex (now Chevron) for over 20 years locally as well as internationally. His international assignments were located in the USA, Vietnamand Australia. In Caltex he has dealt with fuel & lube marketing, lube product development and production, LPG marketing, and product engineering activities. He also worked for three years in the UK with Howden Engineering Company, Burmah-Castrol Refinery, North West Water Authority and A.P.V Company before coming to three years in the UK with Howden Engineering Company, Burmah-Castrol Refinery, North West Water Authority and A.P.V Company before coming to Pakistan in 1980.