Trade: (New pricing mechanism for LNG purchase suggested)

ISLAMABAD: Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Wednesday said importer and distributors of LNG are getting over 100 percent profit from consumers which is unjustified.

The benefit of reduced prices of LNG must reach masses as well as industrial sector which is suffering from increased cost of doing business, he said.

He said that LNG importer and distributors have set high profit margins brushing aside prices fixed by oil and gas regulator Ogra which is illegal. He said international oil prices are increasing which will jack up prices of LNG making it less attractive for the consumers therefore a new pricing formula for purchasing gas should be considered.

He said presently the country is buying gas from Qatar at 13.37 percent of the Brent crude which translates into less than five dollars per MMBTU. However, the gas utilities have set price very high demoralising consumers.

He said the LNG bought on less than five dollars would be sold to CNG sector for 12 dollars per MMBTU, textile sector will get it for 10 dollars per MMBTU and IPPs would pay nine dollars per MMBTU.

He said this arrangement has increased the prices which will transfer all the profit to oil retailer and gas utilities leaving consumers high and dry. He said that bypassing Ogra is not only illegal by it is to set a dangerous trend.

Butt said that government should take note of the situation less it harm the revolutionary project which is set to change the energy and economic landscape of the country.