ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is expected to get portfolio of petroleum and natural resources, Friday rejected the impression that the new government would scrap the Iran-Pakistan (IP) Gas Pipeline Project.

“Pakistan badly needs gas to meet its national energy needs and we cannot ignore this important project,” the minister said, informally talking to reporters after talking oath. He said there were many issues like economic recession‚ energy crisis‚ tax collection‚ investment‚ law and order and terrorism, but the federal cabinet consisted of the competent people who would solve these problems.

He said domestic consumers would get priority in the use of gas followed by the power sector.

Asked about tackling the crucial circular debt issue, Abbasi said retiring the debt was not a big issue. We need to look into the causes that led to the hefty circular debt,” he added.

Asked what his personal view was about taking the national flag career out of the crisis, the minister said if the prime minister sought his opinion, he would advise the government to privatise the PIA.