Shehbaz demands probe into costly LNG purchase

The Nation  |  Aug 01, 2021

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif has demanded a detailed and in-depth investigation into the PTI government’s procurement of the most expensive LNG in history that had cost the country $422.4 million extra.

In a statement on Saturday, Shehbaz said the international media report has endorsed the opposition’s statement over this issue. He said this truth has exposed that the PTI government repeatedly lied to the nation. He said the PTI has bought LNG for $15 per mmbtu which PML-N had bought for $8 per mmbtu.

The Opposition Leader said on every shipment of LNG, this PTI government is wasting an additional $22.5 million of the country. “On 4 of such shipments, a whopping $95 million of the nation’s money will be wasted. The people would be paying $15 per unit in the current month which was unbearable,” he said.

Gov't decides hike in existing prices of petroleum products He further said that during the global peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, LNG was available at much cheaper rates but the PTI government intentionally delayed the procurement. He reminded that the PML-N had at that time demanded that this cheap LNG should be bought. In September 2021, Pakistan will pay $387 million for LNG, he said.

He said Trafigura Company had offered the cheaper LNG to Pakistan which the PTI government declined. “Had the PTI government agreed to a 3-year contract at that time, Pakistan would have gotten LNG at $4 mmbtu instead of $15 mmbtu,” he said. This, he further said, would have saved Pakistan $35.2 million per shipment and the country would have received 12 cargoes by now. The country could have saved $422.4 million.

The PML-N President claimed the PTI government could import 14 cargoes but was intentionally importing less which has created a shortage for the CNG sector and industry.

Shop till you drop at Ideas azadi online sale He stressed this must be investigated. “Those who benefited the country by buying cheap LNG were facing imprisonment while those who are looting the nation are ruling,” he said. He said responsibility for this ‘dacoity’ on the people of Pakistan must be fixed and the perpetrators must be punished.

 

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