ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday said the government is planning to buy Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) on inflated rates under the garb of resolving energy crisis.
All rules and regulations have been relaxed for the import of 500 million cubic feet of LNG per day under a long-term contract with Qatar, said Abdullah Tariq, SVP of PEW in a statement.
Current price of LNG is hovering around $12.5 per million British thermal units (MMbtu). A 15-year agreement should bring down the cost to $7/MMbtu. However, the government is planning to buy the same for around $15/MMbtu which will cost slightly over $18/MMbtu when transportation cost is included. Pakistan will have to pay some $5 million daily for 15 years while politicians will get some Rs400 billion in kickbacks if the deal to import LNG from Qatar on hefty rates is finalised, Tariq warned.
Secretary Petroleum Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry has been fired for resisting the deal while efforts are under way to tame Ogra, which has also opposed the deal, he claimed.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.