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LNG imports will be worth billions of dollars and will affect the economic lives of almost every Pak

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has raised serious concerns about the Governments attempt to bypass the parliament and force an LNG pricing formula through a statutory regulatory order (SRO). The LNG imports will be worth billions of dollars and will affect the economic lives of almost every Pakistani citizen and hence must be presented before the parliament to ensure transparency and allow the elected representatives of the people to play their role in ensuring that no closed door deals impose inordinate burden on the people of Pakistan. This was stated by Asad Umar, MNA, who heads PTI policy, media and marketing.

He stated that every aspect of the LNG transaction is shrouded in secrecy. From purchase to storage and re gasification to transmission to sale , the details of none of these contracts have been disclosed to the parliament. If the government has nothing to hide then why are these contracts not being shared with the parliament?

Amongst the questions that need to be answered on the floor of the house include the specific company from which LNG is being purchased and the beneficial ownership of that company. Simply stating that it is coming from Qatar means nothing . Since the imports are being made without any written contracts how is transparency and cost effectiveness being ensured? What method was used to get multiple competitive bids and what were the results of the bids received? The LNG policy 2011 states that the ex flange price shall include the import price and a reasonable rate of return on the investment made in the terminal. What steps have been taken to ensure reasonableness of the rate of return? What is the expected rate of return?

What is the formula being used to determine the margins for the importing company? What is the benchmark for this formula? How will the returns for the companies distributing LNG through their transmission network be determined? These companies are monopolies and have large private shareholding so the regulator has to play a proactive role in determining these returns and the parliament has to be allowed to look into the returns being allowed to the entire value chain as it will become the precedent for the entire LNG import business worth billions of dollars a year over many years to come.

Umar said that the Government keeps on claiming that billions will be saved thru LNG imports. However, we demand that the Government present on the floor of the house the comparison between the delivered cost of the per MBTU LNG imported so far and sold to the customer versus the per MBTU cost of furnace oil during the same period so that the nation could know if the claims of billions of dollars of saving are actually being realized.

He said that we are being forced to ask these questions through the media because the Government kept of dilly dallying when asked these questions earlier and now for the last two months is refusing to call a session of the National Assembly as if all problems of the citizens of Pakistan have been resolved and the Government has run out a legislative agenda.

LNG imports

PTI statement on propaganda of Jewish funding

Dr Arif Alvi, PTI Organiser Sindh and MNA, condemned the allegations hurled at PTI in the media as mere propaganda. He said this was now hackneyed propoaganda which no Pakistani citizen believes. He presented the following facts and PTI also released a statement sent by Asif Chaudhry a US- Pakistani national. Dr Alvi, who as Secretary General of the Party had overseen the overseas chapters pointed to the following:

  • PTI is registered under US FARA laws and every penny that comes to Pakistan is through legal channels unlike the ‘hundi’ and other illegal transfers done through decades by the Sharif brothers and other corrupt politicians. The party has taken extreme care to follow all laws within Pakistan and in countries where our diaspora lives.
  • A payment made in New York was falsely represented as coming from a Jewish donor. The payment was made by cheque by a US-Pakistani national named Mr Asif Chaudhry who bought four tickets for a fund-raiser table when Mr Imran Khan visited the US in 2012.
  • Mr Asif Chaudhry has clarified (in letter attached) that he works for Barry C Schneps, a law firm, since the year 2000 as an Administrator. He made the payment through his cheque book on site for the four Pakistanis attending the function including himself. It is a legal transaction paid for by a Pakistani and under US law cannot be denied on the basis that he works for a Jewish owned firm. PTI appreciates Mr Chaudhry who came on a private TV channel and debunked the entire spurious allegation. If needed his letter shall be submitted to the ECP also.

Dr Alvi stated it was shameful how when billions of rupees of corruption is going on and money has been taken by Nawaz Sharif and others from ISI, as alleged in the Asghar Khan case in the Supreme Court, the ECP has enough time to waste on these baseless allegations.

Chairman Imran Khan's statement on the brute force used by the government for the evictions in Isla

Chairman PTI, Imran Khan today expressed shock at the brutal and violent manner in which the CDA bulldozed the I 11 Katchi Abadi in Islamabad, leaving the poor families shelterless at nature's mercy. Khan said the violent action against the katchi abadi dwellers showed how the PMLN government is becoming increasingly fascistic. He stated that issues of occupation and security notwithstanding, the government simply cannot destroy poor people's homes and their belongings, meagre as they are, through the use of brute force. If there are criminal elements in an area, arrests and legal proceedings are required, not destruction of a whole community's homes and belongings. He reminded that Article 38, specifically 38:d, of the Constitution states categorically that the state shall provide basic necessities of life including housing to all citizens.

Despite this, Khan regretted that successive status quo governments have never moved to begin fulfilling this commitment and have always targeted the poor and powerless citizens while giving protection to Qabza groups and the elite who regularly occupy state land, including park and forest land. No action is ever taken against these elite land grabbers and qabza mafias as all the traditional status quo parties have close affiliations with these groups.

Khan said that only the poor suffer the wrath of state power and this was reflected once again in the action taken against the poor residents of the I 11 katchi abadi in Islamabad. It was the duty of the government to first provide alternate housing for these poor families and move them safely to these with their belongings. Instead the government showed their complete disregard for any humane considerations and bulldozed the homes with the belongings of these people and took many of these hapless people in custody, injuring some along the way including women and children.

Chairman PTI asked why the qabza elite in Islamabad has seen no reclamation action with bulldozers despite the fact that they have occupied state land, including park and farmland, overtly with no respect for the law. "Why is there no action against the looters of national wealth who have amassed properties abroad and maintain huge foreign bank deposits with their ill-gotten gains?" Khan asserted. "These people are the real qabza mafias who have robbed the nation of its wealth."

"Our ruling elite are devoid of even an iota of humanity and empathy for the poor and dispossessed citizens", Khan declared.

Khan demanded that there should be a uniform katchi abadi policy across the country and this should be formulated and implemented on an emergency basis. The Chairman PTI committed to the nation that when PTI comes to power it will reclaim state land from the qabza mafias and ensure housing for the poor so that no citizen is left homeless.

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