Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has urged the ministry of petroleum and natural resources not to circumvent the laid out rules under the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import.
The whistleblower against corruption in a letter to Minster for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that previous attempts to bypass laws in LNG import had failed.
TIP would like to inform the minister that similar efforts of circumventing PPRA rules by asking exemption from the prime minster and the Economic Coordination Committee to award import contract of LNG to favoured suppliers were also tried two years ago by ex-minister of petroleum, Dr Asim in April 2011, and at that time also TI Pakistan had objected to it, the letter said.
The letter said that according to reports the ministry of petroleum is not interested in transparency in the project to import LNG from Qatar as the ministry has sought exemptions from PPRA rules that will definitely breed controversy.
The Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources Abid Saeed has confirmed that the ministry has sought exemptions from the PPRA rules on the LNG project as there is an emergency-like situation in the country keeping in view the gas crisis, adding that the government needs to complete the project to import LNG as soon as possible, TIP said.
This is to suggest to the petroleum minister that the opinion of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, that laws shall not be amended is the right approach, and the present government shall abide to implement law, and not try to amend the law for personal gain, on the false pretext of emergency and urgency.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2013.