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LNG should be imported through private sector not PSO: PEW

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday opposed import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) through state-run oil retailer Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to address energy crisis terming it against the national interests.

PSO has repeatedly failed to maintain supply chain of the fossil fuel resulting in crisis, the credit of ongoing petrol crisis also goes to the PSO among others, it said.

Private sector should be allowed to import petroleum products as well as LNG as PSO has no experience in the import of gas and red-tapesim will delay arrival of LNG which will compromise growth, said Sajid Ghulam, Vice President PEW.

A financially insolvent company like PSO cannot make spot payments to the LNG exporters as payment in LNG supply chain has to be very prompt from all ends – from suppliers right up to end-users – otherwise the supply chain will disrupt in short span of time.

He said that PSO lacks ability to get receivables or discontinue supply to defaulting entities which has landed it into circular debt beyond government’s capacity to resolve it.

Sajid Ghulam said PEW fears that the same practice would be repeated in case of LNG which would damage the project in the beginning which the country cannot afford.

He said that involvement of a government agency in the import of LNG would pave way for litigation, kickbacks and official inertia while nation will have to pay the price.

Sajid Ghulam said that petroleum ministry has not ratified the wrongdoing of former regime, rather preferred to ignore the same which is disappointing.

He said that OGRA should keep all the pros and cons in mind while taking a decision regarding provision of license to PSO for import of LNG.

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