ISLAMABAD Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Thursday, referred the matter regarding Rs17.2 billion irregular refunds given to oil refineries, to the Ministry of Petroleum with a direction to form a committee of independent experts for the resolution of the matter. Opposition Leader in National Assembly Ch Nisar Ali, while chairing the meeting, observed there were so many issues involved in the matter and PAC could not deal with them. The matter was discussed in length and it was found that the refund money was given irregularly and should be recovered in a specified time. The audit official told the committee that the Inter Departmental Committee and Departmental Accounts Committee also recommended to recover the amount. Secretary Petroleum Kamran Lashari said that he had written letters to the management of the oil refineries to pay back the money. He was of the view that it was not enough to convince the Chairman to give a direction for recovery of an amount. Speaking on the issue Auditor General of Pakistan, Syed Tanvir Ali Agha said that the Inter Departmental Committee decided the issue after thorough discussion. The official of the AGP told the committee that National Refinery Limited, Attock Refinery Limited and Pakistan Refinery Limited claimed refunds on account of profit shortfall during the period from 1992-93 to 2001-2002. The Director General Commercial Audit informed the PAC that the Inter-departmental Committee of Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Finance and the Audit Department had also recommended recovering the amount from the oil refineries. The official said that National Refinery Ltd irregularly obtained Rs6.75 billion refunds; Attock Refinery Ltd claimed Rs4.3 billion irregular refunds and Pakistan Refinery Ltd claimed Rs6 billion refunds from 1993 to 2001-02. MNA Nadeem Afzal Chann while expressing his displeasure asked what purpose the committee was serving when it could decide a case even after 17 years. APP adds: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly took serious notice of the alleged embezzlements in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and its allied departments and issued strict instructions to bring back the money to the national exchequer. The meeting reviewed the audit report of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for the audit year 2008-09. The meeting was briefed that the record of the Parliamentarians gas supply schemes worth Rs1.20b had not been provided to the auditors by Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGPL). The SSGPL Deputy Manager expressed his unawareness about the issue. On this, the PAC directed the ministry to provide detailed record within 15 days. The PAC also asked the ministry to give detailed briefing to the committee regarding the circular debt worth Rs 129 billion. The committee members expressed great astonishment on donating Rs100m to LUMS by SNGPL even after the fact that the company was going in loss. The Attorney General in his remarks said that donations are given to charitable departments in rich countries but in no case the bottomline of the profits of the company is set aside. The PAC gave a time period of one month to the department to submit its decision before the committee. The extension in service to the SNGPL Managing Director also came under discussion and it was noticed that what were the circumstances that a person is on extension for the seventh consecutive year. Ch Nisar Ali Khan remarked that he was against any kind of extension. If Pandoras box is opened, it is estimated that over 100 persons on key posts are enjoying the benefit of extension in service, he added. Ch Nisar categorically stated that although each problem could not be discussed in the PAC yet even then the PAC would never allow any kind of misappropriation in government funds, as it was public money.