ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 16th August, 2016) : The Public Accounts Committee has directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to devise policy for rationalising LPG rates and protecting the interests of the people in this regard. The PAC meeting was held on Wednesday to scrutinise the accounts of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Narcotics Control Division for the year 2013-14. The PAC was informed that the production price of LPG was Rs 50 per kilo but it was sold on Rs 90 per kilo.
The meeting was chaired by Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah. Audit officials revealed that the Marri Petroleum Company had inflicted the losses of upto Rs 30 million to the national exchequer by supplying gas to fertilizer company beyond its allocated quota. Whereas the Prime Minister had directed the concerned to supply less gas to fertilizer companies and divert the gas supplies to Hubco and Pepco for overcoming energy crisis.
PAC has directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to investigate the additional gas issue and submit a detailed report about the volume of losses. Ministry officials informed the PAC that 14 companies had obtained stay orders from the court on canceling their gas exploration licences. Chairman PAC Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah was astonished to know that the low level lawyers were pursuing the important cases of ministry.
In one case the ministry had awarded exploration licence to a company 17 years ago but the relevant department did not push the company to start work causing losses of billions to the national exchequer. Some companies had obtained licences over a decade and half ago did not start exploration and on cancellation of licence obtained stay order from the court, he said which is pathetic. Billions of rupees are being lost due to incompetent lawyers and wrong policies.
Khursheed said that a separate meeting should be summoned to settle such issues of hiring of incompetent lawyers and negligence of officials. He directed to summon secretary ministry of Law and secretary finance, Attorney General of Pakistan and Auditor General of Pakistan to discuss about the issue of hiring competent lawyers for important cases of billions. PAC directed the ministry to provide details of the terms and conditions on which licenses had been issued to the exploration companies.
PAC also directed to initiate punitive action against the responsible officers, who did not take notice of not initiating exploration work despite getting licence. PAC was informed that the petrol products worth over Rs 60 million were stolen over a span of few weeks from pipeline in Muzaffargarh during October-November 2013. Ministry officials told PAC that some culprits have been apprehended. Mian Mannan MNA observed that the petroleum products steeling in Muzaffargarh was a regular feature.
The volume of stealing of petroleum products from pipeline must be from Rs 1 billion of Rs 1.5 billion. Mannan directed the ministry to properly investigate about the case as some influential must be behind the stealing of petroleum products. Responding to a question of Raja Javed Ikhlas, MNA the officials told PAC that the Oil and Gas Development Authority (OGDCL) has allocated a sum of Rs 1 billion for carrying social welfare projects in various exploration areas. A sub committee, headed by Mian Abdul Mannan MNA was constituted to investigate ghost employees issue in attached departments of the ministry. While another sub committee would see the issue of implementing social welfare projects of OGDCL.