Oil & gas companies violating OGRA’s decisions to maximise profits: PEW

ISLAMABAD, Feb 21 (INP): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said oil and gas companies were violating OGRA’s decisions to maximise profits on the cost of consumers.

PEW President Dr. Murtaza Mughal, in a statement here, claimed the Federal Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources had started bypassing the oil and gas regulator in favour of oil and gas companies like former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain.

The oil and gas companies, he alleged, continued to use the energy crisis to mint money while the Oil and Gas Regultaory Authority (OGRA) had intentionally been kept impotent since long.

He said the OGRA quorum was kept incomplete for years while a number of incompetent officials were posted there to make it weak so that it could not impose critical decisions.

Both Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Ltd (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) had not accepted a single important decision of the regulator rather they had challenged almost every decision regarding tariff to maximise their undue profits, he added.

Dr Mughal said recently OGRA recommended a cut of Rs 7 in the prices of petrol but the government only reduced prices by Rs 1 violating the basic rights of masses.

This tendency, he said, was very dangerous as gas was very important part of the energy mix catering for 50 percent of the energy requirements. The power generations sector was using 33 percent of the total natural gas output while domestic consumers were using 23 percent.

Fertiliser sector and other industry were consuming 13 percent each while 9 percent of the gas was being used by the transport sector, he added.

Dr Mughal said scarcity of gas compelled many power plants to suspend operations while reduced supply to urea sector forced the government for imports which wasted foreign exchange.

Now oil and gas companies, he said, were using import of liquefied natural gas to generate undue profits at the cost of economy. This should not be allowed lest it hurt project and growth rate, he warned.

He said the government was spending heavy funds on OGRA, therefore, that institution should be allowed to work or be closed down.

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