The Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum on Thursday recommended Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to charter the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) fleet for its petroleum imports.
The meeting presided over by Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir was attended by Senators Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Saadia Abbasi, Fida Muhammad, Shamim Afridi, Saifullah Abro, and senior officers from the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDCL), and Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).
After hearing from relevant stakeholders on the issue of PSO’s reluctance to charter the PNSC fleet for petroleum imports, the committee chairman stressed that in view of the current financial crisis, preference should be given to local companies. He said that the move will be helpful in preserving around $200 million per year as payments to PNSC will be made in local currency. PNSC Chairman also assured PSO of quality service with competitive rates.
Discussing slab rates for Balochistan, the committee chairman stressed the need to ensure that people must be facilitated and slab rates are not applied to bills in Baluchistan in the three severe cold weather months. He added that all efforts must be made to protect the poor from the increase in gas rates.
Deliberating over the issue of gas theft from the main pipeline, especially in Sindh the committee was informed that a total of 385 cases were registered against all types of pipeline crimes/violations, 26 convictions were secured and 56 accused were fined.
Discussing the gas load shedding in Sindh, the committee took strict notice of the fact that numerous industries were involved in theft by installing large compressors to divert gas supply towards them. The committee demanded details of companies and action taken against them.
On the issue of gas loadshedding in Balochistan and the non-establishment of LPG stations in Panjgur, the committee raised concerns regarding the usurpation of rights of smaller provinces and asserted that the issue must be addressed with sincerity to remove grievances.
The matter of the closure of gas supply to gas stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was taken up as well and the committee was informed that this was done to ensure gas supply to domestic consumers. Members recommended that the matter must be taken up with the prime minister.
The committee also issued directions to SSGC and SNGPL to tackle the issue of low gas pressure and interruption particularly in Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa being gas producing provinces.