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ICST chief concerned over Rs12b LNG sector circular debt

ICST chief concerned over Rs12b LNG sector circular debt

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) expressed concern over the circular debt of Rs12 billion that has engulfed the LNG sector, adding to the already mounting circular debt of the power sector.

The LNG sector circular debt, reported to be at Rs12 billion, should be contained before it destroys the gas sector like it has played havoc with the electricity sector, said ICST Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt.

Talking to the newly elected president of Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) Shamim Aftab, Butt said that the country is already faced with a circular debt of Rs650 billion and now the gas debt has added to it, creating more uncertainty, stated a press release.

The government has been buying LNG since April 2015, while the deal with Qatar Gas was signed in March 2016, he said, adding that such colossal losses in such a short span are not acceptable. Despite assurances given to the IMF in 2008 and 2013 that the circular debt will be controlled, the government has failed to take meaningful steps to resolve the problem.

The business leader mentioned that after three years of losses, a gas utility has reported a profit and demanded that immediate steps be taken to streamline the gas sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Aftab said that the incumbent government inherited the circular debt worth Rs450 billion, which means that the government has added Rs200 billion to it since assuming power, hence damaging the entire economy. She blamed the energy managers whose inefficiency continues to compromise the growth of the economy.

Aftab said that the Minister of Water and Power recently slapped a ban on using imported fuel for power generation, which was overthrown by the higher authority in haste.

She demanded the government to divulge details of the deal with Qatar Gas to bring an end to the rumours.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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