(June 27, 2022)
Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance and Former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said a serious LNG crisis is engulfing the country which can be tackled through controlling wastage and rationing.
Pakistan cannot afford to import costly LNG and sell it cheaply as the balance of payments situation is not favourable, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government is trying to buy cheap LNG but the chances of success are slim as its price in the world market is constantly rising due to high demand.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Pakistan was already in a crisis of payments so expensive LNG purchases could not be made.
The Coronavirus and the subsequent war between Russia and Ukraine have affected the whole world and the LNG market has also been in turmoil.
The shortage of LNG in the country will not only increase load shedding but also affect industrial production and the price of electricity will also go up which will break the backs of the people who are already caught up in merciless inflation.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan has paid up to 30 dollars per unit of LNG but this gas is not available even at 40 dollars per unit while the government has also rejected many offers of expensive gas.
He noted that until Russia achieves its war goals, it is impossible to stabilize the prices of energy and many other commodities in the international market.
Developed countries have also started gas rationing while efforts are being made to increase oil production in order to normalize the energy situation which will affect the targets of global warming.
Mian Zahid Hussain added that the best solution to the global energy crisis is to lift sanctions on Iran, which is not being expedited.
He said that as long as imports do not decrease, the rupee will continue to depreciate. Now the rupee cannot be artificially stabilized as there are not enough dollars in the country to meet the demand.
Exports and remittances should be increased while focusing on agriculture which can help the country reduce agri import bill by 10 to 12 billion dollars, he said.