Sunday September 19, 2021

Shehbaz demands in-depth probe into expensive LNG

August 01, 2021

LAHORE: PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has demanded a detailed and in-depth investigation into PTI government's procurement of the most expensive LNG in history that cost the country $422.4 million extra load.

In a statement here Saturday, Shehbaz said the international media's report has endorsed the opposition's stance over this issue and exposed that PTI government repeatedly lied to the nation. He said the PTI has bought LNG for $15 per mmbtu which the PMLN procured for $8 per mmbtu. The National Assembly Opposition Leader said: “On every shipment of LNG the PTI government is wasting an additional $22.5 million of the country. On four such shipments a whopping $95 million dollars of nation’s money will be wasted. The people will have to pay $15 per unit in the current month which will be unbearable.”

He said during peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, LNG was available at much cheaper rates but the PTI government intentionally delayed its procurement while in September 2021 Pakistan will have pay $387 million for LNG. He said the Trafigura Company had offered cheaper LNG to Pakistan but the PTI government declined. Had the PTI government agreed on a 3-year contract at that time, Pakistan would have gotten LNG at $4 mmbtu instead of $15 mmbtu, he said. This, he said, would have saved Pakistan’s $35.2 million for per shipment and the country would have received 12 cargoes by now with saving of $422.4 million. The PML-N President said PTI government could import 14 cargoes but was intentionally importing less which has created a shortage in CNG sector. “Had the PTI government paid heed to PMLN’s advice the country may have avoided energy crisis and high cost.” It is a global practice that long-term agreements are signed for LNG procurement but PTI went for spot-buying which was an outrageous step, he lambasted. “Responsibility for this dacoity must be fixed and the perpetrators must be punished. The nation is being robbed just the way they were robbed in sugar and flour scandals. The PTI government's policies are directly causing inflation and exponential unemployment,” he said.