Pakistan risks $18 bn fine for not completing Iran gas pipeline

by IANS |

Islamabad, March 2 (IANS) Pakistan risks a fine of $18 billion for not completing the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project in the timeframe stipulated in the agreement, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed.

The apex committee of the National Assembly (NA) met with Noor Alam Khan in the chair and deliberated on the non-utilisation of 332 billion PKR in gas infrastructure development cess, The Express Tribune reported.

Demanding progress on the publicly-funded projects, Bargees Tahir said that 325 billion PKR were received, but only 2 billion PKR were spent.

Syed Hussain Tariq said that the funds are lying idle, and the projects are stagnant. He warned that Pakistan faces fines if the gas pipeline project with Iran is not completed on time, The Express Tribune reported.

Secretary petroleum wondered how the figure of 325 billion PKR came to the fore when the Petroleum Division received 2.8 billion PKR.

The secretary also highlighted the safety and security concerns in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project.

He also told the meeting that Pakistan has spoken to the US about the Iran gas pipeline project to ask for relief. He pointed out that there is a ban on importing gas from Iran, and Pakistan cannot buy it.

He further said that there have been many meetings with Russia during the past three to four months, The Express Tribune reported.

Mohsin Aziz said that levy was collected for three projects, and it was regretful that there had been no progress on any of them.

The members of the committee asked how much penalty could be imposed on Pakistan for not completing the Iran gas pipeline on time.

The secretary petroleum responded that as per the agreement, the penalty could be $18 billion.

He also remarked that they have asked the US ambassador to either give them permission to go ahead with the project or give them money to pay the fine.

The chairman then directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to call the US envoy and inform him about the gravity of the situation.

He also reiterated the two options mentioned by the secretary petroleum, The Express Tribune reported.

Latest News
Warner, Head confirm as Aussies' T20I openers; Smith's role less clear ahead of T20 WC Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 02:01 PM
India reversing missed opportunities of last 75 years, China chip era slowing down: Minister Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 01:58 PM
Govt to hold roadshow in Mumbai to push Rs 8,500 cr coal gasification scheme Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 01:56 PM
Bengal school job case: Sujay Bhadra finally returns to correctional home from hospital Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 01:53 PM
Australia to double naval warships, largest since World War II Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 01:51 PM
Delhi HC reserves verdict on JMM chief's appeal against order refusing to interfere in Lokpal proceedings Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 01:50 PM
Will the curve of India's plastic surgery business rise or fall? Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 01:07 PM
FIH Pro League: 'Confidence in the camp is quite high', says hockey midfielder Hardik ahead of Netherlands clash Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 12:59 PM
PM Modi in Jammu, inaugurates multiple projects worth Rs 32,000 cr Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 12:56 PM
Stopped from entering Sandeshkhali, Bengal LoP moves Calcutta HC again Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 12:48 PM
Urban sector growth outpaced rural sector for 11th consecutive quarter Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 12:40 PM
Oxygen shortage kills 8 patients in besieged Gaza hospital: Minister Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 12:36 PM
Consuming over 22 per cent protein daily may clog your arteries: Study Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 12:28 PM
Rahul Gandhi appears in Sultanpur court Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 12:18 PM
India's IPO tally hit a six-year high in 2023 Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 12:16 PM