The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet's Sub-Committee on Wednesday failed to develop consensus on liquefied natural gas (LNG) import project due to reservations of the Finance Ministry and some other stakeholders.
Sources aware with latest development informed this scribe that a high-powered committee failed to develop consensus on government backed LNG integrated import project due to concerns of different stakeholders.
The meeting was informed that LNG suppliers wanted sovereign guarantees and it is not possible to go ahead with the project without taking this step.
The ECC's sub-committee met in the Ministry of Petroleum under the chairmanship of Minister for Information Technology Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who is being investigated by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a mega scam of Rental Power Plants (RPPs).
One of the participants told that the Finance Ministry had told in a recent meeting of the ECC that it could not extend sovereign guarantees to LNG suppliers due to financial constraints. "The representative of the Finance Ministry reiterated its earlier stance in the meeting of the sub-body and refused to extend sovereign guarantees to LNG suppliers," the sources added.
The sub-body met to deliberate upon the modalities for procurement of LNG from international market. Meanwhile according to a statement, a detailed briefing by petroleum secretary was provided to the members of the ECC's Sub-Committee.
The committee decided to go ahead with the LNG import project through competitive bidding with a focus to ensure availability and use of LNG to be distributed to the power sector.
It was further decided by the sub-committee to finalise recommendations on Monday (May 21, 2012), keeping in view the concerns of all the stakeholders.
It may be recalled that ECC in its meeting held on May 15, 2012 decided to constitute a sub-committee to look into the modalities of LNG import project.
The meeting was also attended by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Water Resources Kamal Majeed-Ullaha, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Nadeem-ul-Haq, Petroleum and Natural Resources Secretary Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, Law and Justice Secretary Yasmin Abbasey, OGRA Chairman Saeed Ahmed Khan, representative of Finance Division, and senior officers of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.
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