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December 15, 2020

Govt flayed for LNG purchase delay despite gas crisis

Peshawar

December 15, 2020

PESHAWAR: A senior businessman on Monday criticized the government and Ministry of Petroleum for earlier delaying the liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase from the international market despite the increasing gas shortage crisis in the country and now acquiring the same at higher rates.

Talking to the media here on Monday, Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, a former senator and senior leader of the Awami National Party, slammed the government for procurement of the LNG at high rates during the last four months.

He said the Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Special Assistant on Petroleum Nadeem Babar are the equally responsible for the growing gas shortage in the country, demanding the immediate resignation of PM and his special assistant. Ilyas Bilour said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ill-conceived policies have brought the country’s economy on the verge of a collapse.

He alleged that the purchase of LNG is being used as a political tool by the prime minister and his cronies, stating that the premier’s Special Assistant Nadeem Babar continuously resorted to lies by saying that the government had purchased LNG from to meet needs from October 2020 till February 2021.

The senior businessman said that several countries around the world had piled up the stock of LNG because of the coronavirus pandemic and increasing demand of the LNG in winter, but he lamented that Pakistan had not even issued tender yet for the LNG purchase.

Essentially, he revealed that the government is going to purchase the LGN on 20 per cent higher price. Ilyas Bilour said the LNG prices have become higher as compared to the past eight months. Under the present situation, he stated that the LNG, which was earlier available at the US $5.5 for Pakistan, is now unavailable even at the US $ 9.9.

He came down hard on the PTI government for deliberately creating the gas shortage in the country while it has also inflicted colossal financial losses to the national exchequer by procurement of LNG on higher rates.

The senior businessman alleged the incumbent government was trying to sabotage the 18th Amendment and wanted to determine prices of gas at the country level to usurp the constitutional rights of the provinces, which have sufficient gas reserves, adding the move was an open violation of the Constitution.