Petroleum Ministry clarifies report on Ogra

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has clarified a news report published in “The News” today, relating to alleged move of the Ministry to bring Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) under its control.

A spokesman said: “The published news item does not represent the factual position. The ministry does not want to take over the control of OGRA. OGRA has to act as an independent regulatory body, which is also the view of the ministry despite the fact that the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources has already passed a resolution to that affect recommending the placement of OGRA under the ministry.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources feels that OGRA has not been playing its due role in performance of its functions enunciated under section 6 of OGRA Ordinance, 2002. OGRA is also not considering the criteria for determination of tariff as provided under section 7 of OGRA Ordinance inter-alia including (i) sending of appropriate price signals regarding the relative abundance or scarcity of supply of such regulated activity (ii) minimizing economic distortions; and (iii) keeping in view the costs of alternate or substitute sources of energy.

The view of the writer is contradictory as OGRA was never intended to be a quasi judicial body. Moreover, it has failed to follow government guidelines. All such regulators have to follow Government directives issued from time to time. The shortage of energy has to be managed by OGRA, which it has failed to do.

The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources strongly rebuts the headline news and the angling done in the news item to distort the factual position. The proposed changes are in line with the functions of the regulators, as are prevalent in any country.

Khalid Mustafa adds: The story is based on the letter written to PM on January 23 a copy of which is available with this correspondent. The News stands by the story.


Courtesy: The News


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