Fawad Yousafzai

Islamabad - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has demanded equal representation of all the provinces in Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and asked the PTI senators to support the Ogra (Amendment) Act 2015 presented by Sindh.

“We had asked Ogra long ago to give details of the people working in Authority as it is the representative body of all the provinces and doesn’t belong to federal or Punjab government alone,” a senior official of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told The Nation.

“It is strange that KP is producing 50 percent of oil while Sindh and Balochistan are contributing majority share of natural gas but we don’t have any representation in Ogra,” the official maintained, adding that every province should have representation there.

“The demand of equal representation is not something new as we have the examples of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and Directorate General of Petroleum Concession, where all the provinces have representations,” the official explained.

It is pertinent to mention here that a PPP senator has submitted a bill in the Senate, seeking equal representation of the four provinces in the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra). The senator has suggested that the Ogra chairperson should be appointed on a rotation basis from all the four provinces, like the Indus River System Authority (Irsa).

The bill titled ‘Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Act 2015’ has been submitted by the senator from Sindh as a private member. The OGRA was established in 2002 and it comprises a chairman and three members for oil, gas and finance and the term of the chairman is four years.

According to the bill, the member from Balochistan should become the chairperson first, followed by those from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh, respectively. The bill also seeks changes in the eligibility criteria for the appointment of chairperson and members of the Authority. The KP govt also supports a proposed amendment to Section 3 of the ordinance which suggests that “it should comprise one member each from the four provinces, to be appointed by the federal government in consultation with the provincial govt concerned,” the official maintained.

“The PTI government has already asked their senators to support the bill,” the official added.

When asked if they are planning to bring a new bill the official said “No, we will see the bill and will add our input to it.”