The fishy affairs of Hascol oil marketing company have landed in a parliamentary panel with a member levelling allegations of corruption worth Rs15 billion on the company.
Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum member Afnanullah Khan alleged Hascol has been involved in corruption worth Rs15 billion.
“Who is responsible for such massive corruption?” Senator Mohsin Aziz, another committee member questioned, adding that the issue must not be ignored and should be discussed in detail.
A joint meeting of the standing committees on finance and petroleum should be convened on this issue, said Aziz.
Petroleum Secretary Dr Arshad Mahmood said that Hascol is claiming more than Rs60 billion in losses in three years. “If that had happened, the company would have already collapsed,” the petroleum secretary added.
On Eid, petrol had run out at Hascol pumps in different cities of the country, said the petroleum secretary. “If so many losses are happening then what are the board and general managers doing?
The senate panel meeting was held on Monday under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Abdul Qadir.
The unemployment of Balochistan engineers and diploma holders in the petroleum sector was also on the agenda.
The parliamentary body took up the matter of daily wage employees in Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited working for the last 16 years. The issue of cancellation of coal mine lease agreements in Balochistan and elimination of various taxes on imported LPG also came up on the agenda.
Senator Sarfraz Bugti said that Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) did not hire Dera Bugti engineers in light of MoU and added that they did not even receive the full amount of salary.
The petroleum officials informed the committee that Pakistan has a daily supply of four billion cubic feet of gas. This also includes 1.2 billion cubic feet of LNG. Sindh produces 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas and KP 400 million cubic feet of gas per day. Balochistan produces 800 million cubic feet of gas.
The petroleum secretary said that local gas production in the country is declining, which is a matter of concern.
“More investments are required to create more jobs in Sui,” the PPL MD said.
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“We also pumped up to one billion cubic feet of gas per day from Sui that has declined to 340 million cubic feet per day now,” he added.
Meanwhile, committee member Fida Muhammad said that the oil and gas exploration companies should take steps for the employment of locals.
The committee chairman stressed completion of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline on a priority basis and urged the courts to assist in the recovery of arrears of gas infrastructure development cess.
Efforts should be intensified on the discovery of indigenous oil and gas. He expressed serious concerns over the declining gas reserves in the country. He was of the view that exploring local oil and gas resources will reduce the import bill.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2021.
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