NA body for forwarding OGDCL corruption case to NAB

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ISLAMABAD - AHMAD AHMADANI - National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources Thursday recommended forwarding corruption case to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) officials responsible in purchasing faulty drilling machinery worth Rs 50 billion. NA body meeting was held here on Thursday under chair Engineer Tariq Kahttak in the premises of parliament house to discuss the issues pertaining CNG stations and gas schemes of parliamentarians. The convener of a sub-committee Rana Afzal presented report in which it has been recommended that strict action be taken against ODGCL for purchasing defective drilling machinery worth about Rs 49 billion and 68 crores.

Over the revelation of massive Rs 50 billion losses in OGDCL, the legislative body also recommended taking necessary action against eight officials of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and if they declined to cooperate then the matter should be sent to NAB. The committee also observed that the OGDCL-awarded Kunnar Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) project was awarded to ENAR Petrotech, which caused around Rs1 crore losses.

Advisor on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain told the committee that state owned Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) have no money even to pay salaries to their staff as OGRA has damaged the gas companies. The companies cannot run their business on current financial position after June 2013. He said thought OGRA is responsible for the collection of money on account of stolen gas yet it is not allowing the companies to charge the consumers under head Unaccounted for Gas (UfG), losses occurred in bomb blasts, in metered losses etc. Chairman OGRA has no understanding of finance, he added.

Advisor to Prime Minister also said that state owned gas utilities have no capacity to fulfil the orders issued by PM secretariat pertaining gas schemes of MNAs even SNGPL has no money in hand to pay salaries to its staff and he has asked the premier to give subsidy to SNGPL.

Chairman OGRA Saeed Ahmad Khan, present on the occasion, perturbed over the remarks of Advisor, said OGRA is working in accordance to the laws and also declared that gas companies are responsible to control gas theft. He said gas companies (SNGPL & SSGCL) have not taken necessary satisfactory measures to control damages. He also said if Advisor is interested to end OGRA then no one has stopped him from doing so, adding that regulatory bodies are being strengthened around the world.

The committee deplored over withdrawal of NOC by OGRA from those CNG stations, which had completed construction work and invested hefty Rs3 crores in the business but are not in operational form and unanimously termed it exploitation of investors.

However, differences among members of the committee over CNG crisis and CNG stations issues were quite obvious in the course of meeting where almost half of the members were in favour while remaining half were found against the establishment of large numbers of stations in the country.

Chairman committee Engineer Tariq Khattak said around 4 crore people are getting benefits from CNG business in the country.

A committee member Inyat Ali Shah said that it is horrific when Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) suspends gas supply of whole city whenever it opted to close a CNG station. “OGRA should be fined Rs2 crore over issuing NOC to the CNG stations and this amount should be given to investors, said Inayat Ali Shah.

Jamshaid Dasti, a firebrand lawmaker of ruling PPP, said that CNG station owners were crying howl but the government was not ready to listen to their demands. He asked the government to take to task Tauqeer Saddiq allegedly involved in Rs 83 billion corruption as so many corrupt elements would be exposed by this.

Another member Asghar Ali Jat said if the government cannot provide gas to CNG stations, then it should return the investment of billions of rupees to the owners. He said SNGPL gave a list of 63 CNG stations involved in theft of gas but OGRA neither cancelled a single licence nor gave approval to disconnect their connections.

Chaudry Berjees Tahir walked out from the meeting over not releasing funds for parliamentarians’ gas schemes from last three years.


Courtesy: The Nation

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