LAHORE: A renowned economic watchdog of the country has urged the government to implement all oil and gas import projects on urgent basis.
All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) President Ibrahim Qureshi has demanded early implementation of all gas pipeline projects, including the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI) and Pak-Iran gas pipeline, as LNG deal with Qatar would help the government overcome energy shortfall in the country by only 20 percent.
He welcome the Pakistan-Qatar LNG deal however he raised objection on the ambiguous way of striking deal on import of LNG from Qatar, besides questioning the levy of over Rs100 billion additional taxes on gas consumers to meet the cost of pipeline for transportation of LNG from Qatar.
APBF president questioned the decision to construct the proposed pipeline from Qatar with the money of public. Moreover, he added, the transportation problem within the country has not been resolved.
The LNG transportation will require pipeline from Karachi to upcountry which will take a long time, he pointed out. Ibrahim Qureshi was of the view that a deal with Iran or Russia could have been made at further cheaper rates.
He said the government had bound the future governments to continue with the import of gas on the same terms, as the present government inked the deal for 15 years, which is objectionable.
“Overall forty six billion dollars investment from China, LNG agreement with Qatar and decision of export of manpower to other countries will help country achieve a growth target of seven percent in a speedier manner. Although economy had not come out of woods so far, however the positive developments on the economic front are giving encouragement to the business community.”