SSGC denies loss of Rs17b in gas supply to LPG producer

Published: September 10, 2017
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Responding to the charge of exorbitant and excessive rates, SSGC called it false as the rates were determined through a competitive bidding process. PHOTO: AFP

Responding to the charge of exorbitant and excessive rates, SSGC called it false as the rates were determined through a competitive bidding process. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has raised questions over the investigation conducted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) production case as the anti-corruption watchdog believes the national exchequer has suffered a loss of over Rs17 billion.

According to SSGC documents, NAB has wrongly calculated the loss at Rs17.338 billion in its reference of charges against Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL), which purchased gas from SSGC for LPG production.

NAB has considered the outstanding amount as a loss just to inflate the figures. In any business, there is always some outstanding amount, say the documents.

According to SSGC – a state-owned gas utility, receivables for gas supply to JJVL were estimated at Rs7.87 billion on December 31, 2015 including the LPG processing charge of Rs4.6 billion. Net receivables stood at Rs3.3 billion.

Of this, Rs3 billion was to be recovered in instalments with mark-up as approved by the SSGC board of directors on November 5, 2014.

Nine out of 12 instalments had been paid by JJVL plus bills of November and December 2015 amounting to Rs0.3 billion, SSGC said. Only Rs1 billion remains to be paid by JJVL up to December 2017 with mark-up.

In its reference, NAB put the outstanding bills at Rs3.4 billion for the period September 2012 to May 2015. However again, SSGC said, they did not include the processing fee due to JJVL.

According to the public gas utility, the correct position is that only Rs1.5 billion was due, which has been fully paid by JJVL. NAB ignored the payments received from JJVL on account of Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), which were clearly reflected on page 987 of book No 5 submitted by NAB, it said.

Therefore, out of the Rs17.338 billion, Rs11.27 billion had been outstanding, but all of that was settled except for Rs1 billion. This is due to be settled by December 2017.

Of the Rs7.87 billion shown as payables against LPG by NAB, the actual amount stood at Rs1 billion and that was payable in instalments, as approved by the SSGC board, the company said.

Responding to the charge of exorbitant and excessive rates, SSGC called it false as the rates were determined through a competitive bidding process and the process had been upheld by the Islamabad High Court.

“As the documents show that there is no overdue liability and all payments have been made, the reference stands no ground and the investigation officer should be stopped from wasting resources of the country,” SSGC said.

NAB did not reply to the request for comments on the story.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2017.

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