OGRA grants 476 CNG station licenses despite ban - Pakistan Today

OGRA grants 476 CNG station licenses despite ban

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum directed Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to fix responsibility on officials responsible for granting 476 licenses to set up CNG stations during the last two years on Thursday. The government had imposed a ban on issuance of new licenses due to the shortage of gas in the country in the two year period in question.
The meeting of the committee was held under the chairmanship of Sardar Talib Hassan Nakai, who has replaced the previous chairman Sheikh Waqas Akram.
The committee directed acting chairman OGRA Mansoor Muzaffar Ali to give a detailed briefing of the malpractices in the issuance of licenses for CNG stations and fix responsibility on officials during the next meeting on July 12. The committee also directed that steps should be taken for controlling gas theft. They also opposed increase in gas prices especially for domestic consumers.
Members also demanded lifting of ban on gas supply schemes of MNAs.
Earlier MNA Barjees Tahir informed the committee that despite a ban on the issuance of new licenses, OGRA had granted 306 licenses in fiscal year 2009-10 and 170 licenses in 2010-11. The members demanded that the matter should be investigated and cases should be registered against officials involved in malpractice.
Acting Chairman OGRA said that there was no policy on relocation of CNG stations and relocation was an irregular act. He said the practice was stopped and he had informed the Cabinet Division that relocation of sites was being made without any clear policy. He supported formation of a parliamentary committee to look into the issue.
The members also asked OGRA to clarify why licenses of four oil marketing companies were suspended in Azad Jummu Kashmir whereas people in Punjab were facing petrol shortages. Replying to various queries of members, Secretary Petroleum Ijaz Chaudhry said that the Ministry of Petroleum had no link with the CNG case as it was regulated by OGRA. He added that the shortage of gas was on the rise and CNG stations may have to be closed for longer period of time in future.
Talking about gas theft, he said the government had directed gas utility companies to take rectifying steps. During the last 48 days they have disconnected 370 connections and made a recovery of Rs4 billion.
He said that 90 percent of the gas connections were being provided under the Prime Minister’s scheme for MNAs whereas 10 percent connections were given by the companies on their own. He said Balochistan was offered 250 mmcfd of gas from Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline but the provincial government was yet to give a reply on its utilization.
He said that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project would be completed the commissioning deadline of December 2014. He said that LNG is the shortest route for overcoming gas shortage and its imports were expected to start from August 2012.

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One Comment;

  1. M.Aslam Ch said:

    It seem there is law of jungle among govt quarters. On one hand, they are discouraging use of CNG in vehicle by consistently raining its price to bring it at par with that if petrol/diesel,but on other hand, they are issing more licences under their vested interest, when there is acute shortage of natural gas in the country and this situation is aggravating day by day.A license, a piece of paper cost around Rs one million to the investor, apart from the actual capital cost of CNG station, that vary from Rs 20 -50 million plus.

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