Pakistan plans to gives itself a $342 million windfall to spend on infrastructure projects, such as its gas pipeline link with Iran, by increasing gas tariffs for commercial and industrial users.

The government is set to meet tomorrow to consider the proposal, called the Infrastructure Development Levy.

Minister for petroleum and natural gas Asim Hussain said: “We have forwarded a proposal to the federal cabinet to rationalize the gas tariff, which means increasing the tax on fertilizer, compressed natural gas and other industrial groups.”

According to government figures, the country’s power sector accounts for 28 per cent of gas consumption, with general industry using 26%, domestic users 17%, the fertilizer market 14% and the transport sector 8%.

If approved, the government believes the levy will bring in $342 million per year.