Sui companies seek 17pc increase in gas tariff

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The National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum was informed on Thursday that two state-owned Sui companies have sought an increase of 17 per cent in the gas tariff for which hearing would be held immediately after Eid-ul-Fitr between September 5th and 7th.
Chairman of the committee Sardar Talib Hassan Nakai has raised the question of whether prices of petrol and gas can be increased in the absence of Chairman and Vice Chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). Chairman Taquir Sadiq was sent on a forced leave in May due to allegations of malpractices while Vice Chairman Mir Kamal Mari had proceeded abroad due to illness of his relative. The question was raised as Acting Chairman OGRA Mansoor Muzaffar had told the committee on July 30th that the halted gas supply schemes for parliamentarians could not be started since OGRA was operating without two top officials, who had the powers to give a decision. Executive Director Finance OGRA Jawad Nasim explained that the permission for increase in gas prices was finalised in May when the authority was headed by the Chairman and hike in gas prices was notified in August when Vice Chairman joined back. While Member Finance OGRA had powers to notify any changes in petroleum prices. OGRA officials continued their hoodwinking attempts as they did not present the complete record relating to issuance of gas connections to 500 CNG stations sought by the committee during its last meeting on July 30. Barjees Tahir of PML-N drew the attention of the committee that OGRA had only submitted a brief which gives them a clean chit. OGRA officials, he said were using delaying tactics as they mentioned the name of a parliamentarian Riaz Hussain Peerzada for using influence for re-sitement of CNG stations while they have withheld names of 46 other people who have reallocated their CNG stations.
A charged Jamshed Dasti of PPP said everybody was aware of the massive corruption in OGRA. He compared the deceiving attempt by OGRA high ups as thieves trying to protect other thieves. “If the committee has the guts to hold these thieves accountable then the matter should be pursued otherwise it would be better to completely ignore it to avoid embarrassment”. Chairman OGRA Tauqeer Sadiq offered to present files in lots of 50 for the scrutiny of the committee. However Barjees Tahir opposed the offer and demanded that complete records should be submitted to the committee secretariat and the members themselves would scrutinize the files. Chairman Nakai ruled that OGRA should submit the complete record relating to issuance of 500 CNG stations licenses and 47 re-sitement cases to the committee secretariat.
Earlier at the start of the committee meeting, Chairman and members expressed strong resentment at the continued absence of Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain from the committee. The Chairman decided to write letters to the Speaker, Prime Minister and President complaining about the attitude of the minister. Secretary Petroleum Ejaz Chaudhary informed the committee that the Petroleum Ministry had moved a summary to the Prime Minister seeking removal of ban on supplying new gas connections which were delaying implementing the parliamentarian schemes. Vice Chairman OGRA Mir Kamal Mari said that OGRA was bound to follow policy guidelines of the Cabinet and Economic Coordination Committee. He said the ban was imposed on the new schemes and not on the ongoing schemes. Additional Secretary Cabinet Division informed the committee that an inquiry against Chairman OGRA was being held and he would remain on leave till the inquiry was not completed. He said Chairman OGRA has even approached the court against his forced leave which the court has withheld.



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One Comment;

  1. abdul rahman said:

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