ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday said government is planning to buy LNG on inflated rates under the garb of resolving energy crisis. All rules and regulations are being relaxed for the import of 500 million cubic feet of LNG per day under a long-term contract, it said.

If the deal to import LNG from Qatar is finalised, Pakistan will have to pay some five million dollars daily for fifteen years while some influential politicians will get Rs 400 billion in kickbacks, said Abdullah Tariq, SVP of PEW.

Secretary Petroleum Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry has been fired for resisting the deal while efforts are underway to penalise Ogra, another opponent of the LNG import on hefty price, he added. Tariq said Qatar seems to be the only option as a vessel from Doha takes 36 hours to reach Karachi, gas transportation from Malaysia take 14 days while it will take one month from Algeria.

It may be mentioned that apart from Ogra the power companies and private sector has also opposed the import of costly LNG while the government is yet to consider using cheap alternative of Thar coal.

End consumers will have to brave over 200 per cent hike in the price of gas in case deal is nailed down.