SC demands LNG records


April 15, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday directed the secretary cabinet division to present a complete record of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting pertaining to awarding the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tender to the French company GDF Suez for the import of 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum.

The 3 member bench was led by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry comprising of Justice Ch Ijaz Ahmad and Justice Ghulam Rabbani. The CJ expressed extreme anger at the record not having been presented despite the court’s order. “We will not allow anyone to waste national wealth” the CJ remarked. Senator S.M. Zafar, representing the Ministry of Petroleum, assured the court that the petroleum ministry would not sign the agreement with GDF Suez till the court announces its verdict in this case.

Abdul Hafiz Pirzada, representing GDF Suez, also assured the court that his client GDF Suez has deferred the signing of the agreement with the petroleum ministry till April 30. Senior Project Manager LNG Sui Southren Gas (SSGC) Naeem Sharafat said that he was informed that the Fauji Foundation (FF) was not awarded the contract because they did not participate in the bid to supply of LNG and only participated in the bid of the terminal.

The CJ directed him to submit his detailed statement separately in court. Secretary Petroleum, Kamran Lashari appearing before the court said that he is not aware of these issues since he took charge of the ministry as its secretary just two months ago.

Chairman FF, Lt Gen (Rtd) Hamid Rab Nawaz informed the bench that after agreeing with the advisory committee of the petroleum ministry, he decreased the rate and quantity of LNG.

The petroleum ministry still awarded this tender to someone else. The CJ also directed Secretary Finance Salman Siddiqui and Additional Secretary Petroleum Ministry G.A. Sabri to appear before the bench to assist the court in this matter and adjourned the hearing till April 21.

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