By AHMAD AHMADANI
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has asked Petroleum Ministry to remove serving managing director (MD) of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) from the office due to his alleged misuse of authority by influencing a court witnesses in the case against former minister Dr Asim Hussain.
Bureau (NAB) had filed references against the former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain and his alleged associates including former civil servants and some private persons in corruption cases involving Rs462 billion. Former petroleum minister and his associates were allegedly involved in fraudulent land allotments, illegal annexation of land, unfair distribution of natural gas quotas, money laundering, and misappropriation of funds of state-owned entities thus causing billion rupees worth heavy loss to the national exchequer.
Informed sources revealed that NAB has written a letter to the petroleum ministry against incumbent managing director (MD) of the SSGCL Khalid Rahman and sought his removal on the charges of influencing the witnesses of Dr Asim case. They informed that present managing director SSGCL was made OSD (officer on special duty and he could not use powers of MD till the decision of cases against Dr Asim comes on record. “Amin Rajput was given acting charge of the top slot of state-owned gas utility (SSGCL) after NAB’s recommendation,” sources said.
According to NAB, Dr Asim Hussain, SSGC’s former managing directors Azeem Iqbal Siddiqui, Zuhair Ahmed Siddiqui and Shoaib Warsi, serving MD Khalid Rehman and others had been accused of misappropriating funds of SSGC and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) by providing illegal benefits to Jamshoro Joint Venture Ltd (JJVL), a private company dealing with a liquefied natural gas (LPG) plant, in 2011 onward. The company had also been illegally provided with gas worth billions by the former minister from various fields.
According to NAB, the private company was allowed to process gas from five fields in lower Sindh without conducting an open auction, signing agreements and other necessary procedures required by the law to make the process transparent.
NAB’s document said under a January 2012 decision of its board of directors, the OGDCL entered into an agreement with JJVL for purification of Kunar Pasaki Deep (KPD) natural gas to remove impurities and hazardous gases capable of damaging SSGC’s pipeline network. In fact it was SSGC which asked OGDCL to provide purified gas otherwise it would not accept KPD gas.
Also, NAB contended that gas was curtailed illegally to the agriculture sector to benefit a particular group associated with the fertilizer industry. The price of fertilizers was arbitrarily hiked and Dr Asim received kickbacks in return, NAB said.