ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik on Thursday said his ministry had devised a broader framework under which 50 per cent of the country’s total population, comprising the poorest of the poorest people, would be saved from the gas price hike.“We have presented a principle, for which the Federal Cabinet’s guidance and approval to be sought. The Petroleum Division has evolved a framework that 50 per cent of citizens of the country, which means the poorest of the poor, will be protected from the additional burden of increased price [of gas]. Implementation of the proposal will be subject to approval by the cabinet,” he said while addressing a news conference. Before leaving the government, he said, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) made legislation under which the Federal Government had no authority to change the gas price determined by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). “We are working out for the last two-three weeks how the gas consumers can be given relief as OGRA has informed us about the new rate which is far high as compared to the last year because the rate had not been increased for the last two years,” he said. As the PTI government had committed blunders in the energy sector coupled with its mismanagement and inefficiency, a detailed meeting was held to examine whether rationing or re-pricing of the gas was required to rectify the situation, he added. Dr Musadik said it was unfortunate that the past government did not procure Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) cargoes that were available at the reduced rate of $4 per MMBTU (Metric Million British Thermal Unit) two years ago, which now cost $40. “It means that now per LNG cargo cost is around $138 million, which was available at $12.5 million two years ago for 2-4 years, but the PTI government did not pay any heed towards buying the commodity.