Wrong assessment of LNG market spelling disaster for masses


Former President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt on Tuesday said wrong market reading by the bureaucracy is to spell disaster for the masses reeling under inflation, as it will result in another round of price hike.

The incompetence of the gas bureaucracy will also force the government to increase power tariffs as it is buying the costliest LNG to overcome local gas shortfall and produce electricity, he said.

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Following default by two LNG trading companies, ENI and Gunvor Group, for providing two cargoes due to be delivered in November at the fixed rate of 11.95pc and 11.63pc of Brent, the country will have to pay a huge amount for its energy requirements, he added.

Shahid Rasheed butt said that now a deal with a Qatari firm has been finalised, and the company will supply the cargo at a price of 30.6 dollars per million British thermal units (mmbtu), which will reduce the gas supply gap during the current month.

The business leader said that the bureaucracy failed to notice changing dynamics in the international market and it cancelled a few bids for affordable LNG in hope of reduced prices, but the government ended up paying more due to historically high prices in the international market.

 The purchase of expansive gas will unleash a new round of inflation to make life more difficult for the masses, while the authorities will not be able to defend their decisions and they will again seek refuge in wrong comparison of prices in other countries, he observed.

Mr. Butt called for a judicial inquiry into the LNG mismanagement, saying that the mismanagement is not only costing billions of dollars but the country is also moving towards a severe gas crisis due to the incompetence and non-transparent policies.

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