ISLAMABAD Additional Secretary Petroleum Ejaz Chaudry has said that despite employing concrete remedial strategy to reduce circular debt of the country, Finance Division has not taken any concrete measure to cut back the growing volume of circular debt. Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum & Natural Resources took a serious notice on the issue of circular debts and proposed to summon the officials of Ministry of Water & Power, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources in the next meeting to probe the issue of circular debt consensually. Briefing on circular debt issue here in the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum & Natural Resources with Senator Sabir Ali Baloch in chair to review issues in the petroleum sector, particularly the continuously increase in volume of circular debts, Ejaz Chaudhary on Monday said that volume of circular debt of public entities has reached a menace stage of Rs. 235 billion. If the Government does not take concrete steps to flush out the debt, he said it might increase up to Rs. 285 billion at the end of the year. Additional Secretary of Petroleum Ministry informed the committee that mostly public entities, including Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), have not been paying their payables, while the finance division had released Rs. 60 billion to pay the receivables of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and other entities after cut on Budget 2009-10 to reduce the circular debt volume in the country. He further said that the receivable of Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC) has increased up to Rs. 85 billion and if the Government would not take concrete measures to release the amount against OGDC receivables, it would have a deep impact over the oil sector in the country. He was of the opinion that the receivables of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) soared up to Rs. 27 billion, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) up to 25 billion, while the total receivables of PARCO rose to Rs. 45 billion. The Committee was also informed that the countrys total demand for petroleum (POL) products is around 19 million tons per annum in which the share/consumption of Motor Spirit (MS) is 1.9 million tons per annum. Pakistan is a net oil importer, fulfilling around 85% of its oil demand including crude oil and refined oil products through imports, while the remaining demand is met through indigenous resources. 70% of the MS demand is met through local refineries, while 30% is being imported. In MS consumption the province-wise share is: Punjab 62%; Sindh 28%; Khyber Pakhtonkhawa (KP) 7%; Balochistan 1.7%; and Azad Jamu Kashmir 1.9%. It is important to mention here that during this meeting, Pakistan State Oil officials informed the committee that total liquid fuel demand of the country is 20 million metric tons per annum out of which PSO is contributing more than 14 MM tons, while other Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) contribute over 29 percent of the total demand of the country. Furthermore, the officials were of the view that due to country-wide flood devastation, particularly in areas of Southern Punjab including most affected areas Muzaffar Garh and Kot Adu, the over all losses was estimated Rs. 201.8 million due to damage caused to civil infrastructure, electrical system and instrumentation. However, PSO claimed that total receivables from power sector has reached up to Rs. 130.7 billion and price differential claims from Government of Pakistan has stood at Rs. 14 billion, while PSOs payable to refineries is Rs. 89.9 billion and PSO is also liable to pay Rs. 34 billion against Letter of Credit (LCs) payments during next 20 days. Senate body on Petroleum & Natural Resources also took serious notice of the critical performance of Pakistans leading Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Transparency International-Pakistan (TIP) and termed it as a blackmailer. Furthermore, Chairman Committee while commenting on the report by TIP on a contract awarded by PSO categorically rejected the report and remarked that transparency mechanism of TIP was not more than its blackmailing, therefore institutions should only concentrate on their own business.