Due to wrong PML-N pacts: Pakistan paying Rs84.3m per day to LNG terminals, says Nadeem Babar

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nadeem Babar said on Friday Pakistan was paying Rs84.3 million per day because of ill-conceived agreements of the previous government.

Speaking in a private channel programme, he said that the terminal was being paid in full for 10 months, but no gas was received. He claimed that it had become hard to supply cheap gas to domestic users due to the previous government’s agreements. Now they have to pay at least Rs1,400 per month, instead of Rs250-300, he added.

While conceding that the country indeed needs LNG and that the PML-N government did the right thing by shifting power plants from diesel to LNG, Nadeem said during the PML-N era, LNG was declared as petrol whichwas a wrong step. These power plants only ran on LNG for two-and-a-half years, not seven, he added.

He said in 2016, the whole market was saying that prices would go down. In such situation the PML-N government should have not signed an agreement for 10 years. He said even after 10 years, Pakistan could not leave the contract, as claimed by Shahid Khaqan, but only the prices could be fixed again. It was proven in their own tenure that those prices were not reasonable.

Nadeem Babar said the PTI government purchased LNG at the cheapest possible rates. He said the current government paid 20 per cent less price compared with the previous government purchases, saving at least $238 million for the country, if calculated all purchases for summer and winter collectively.

He said that the previous government had collected Rs226 billion under GIDC, which was to be spent on laying the pipeline. The GIDC account was empty when the PTI government came to power. “Where is the collected money,” he asked Shahid Khaqan, other participant in the programme.

About Ishaq Dar, the special assistant said that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had helped flee the former finance minister abroad, and he should now help the government to bring him back to the country.

He said that construction work on one terminal was starting next month while another would also be constructed soon.

Nadeem Babar said the PML-N government was responsible for delays in energy projects. “If we bought gas worth Rs57 billion, how did we lose Rs55 billion? We used only 3.9 per cent fuel. In the last year of the previous government, 20 per cent electricity was generated from diesel,” he said.

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