ISLAMABAD  - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Friday approved in principle the LNG terminal services agreement initialed between the ETPL and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) for the import of LNG under the fast track LNG project by November.

The ECC, which held under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has discussed the summary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for approval of the fast track LNG Services Project. In the light of the detailed discussion, the ECC decided, to approve the proposal in principle, subject to completion of all formalities as indicated by the Law Division and thereafter approval of the Prime Minister.

The Ministry of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has moved a summary to ECC to approve the LNG services agreement (LSA) between ETPL and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) to ensure the import of 200-400 million cubic feet of LNG under fast track LNG project by November this year.

Secretary Law informed the ECC that in the light of 18th Amendment, the Article 90(1) of the constitution lays down that the Executive Authority of the Federation shall be exercised in the name of President by the Federal Government, consisting of the Prime Minister and the Federal Ministers, which shall act through the Prime Minister, who shall be the Chief Executive of the Federation. The Sub-article 90(2) says that in the performance of his function under the Constitution, the Prime Minister may act either directly or through the Federal Minister.

Moreover, regarding approval of LSA as agreed by SSGCL & ETPL, the Law Division opined that the LSA is a commercial contract between the two commercial entities and their respective Board of Directors are fully competent to grant approval in respect of LNG Service Agreement.

The Petroleum Secretary was of the opinion that it has been the practice followed in the past that this issue has been brought to the ECC and the nature of the project is such that it is of paramount importance to meet the urgent energy needs of the country. He added that it was after due diligence and confirming to all reasonableness on international and regional parameters the Petroleum Ministry is satisfied that the project is a good deal and worth putting on fast track in order to meet the existing shortfall of gas in the country.

The meeting was also attended by Zahid Hamid, Minister for Science and Technology, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Minister for National Food Security, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, Minister for Industries and Production, Chairman BOI, Miftah Ismail, Chairman Privatization Commission, Muhammad Zubair and senior officials of the government.