ISLAMABAD -  In a meeting of the sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, it was alleged that instead of Pakistan State Oil(PSO) private oil marketing companies (OMCs) were providing furnace oil to the IPPs.

The issue was discussed in the meeting of sub-committee of the Senate body, which was presided over by Senator Taj Mohammad Afridi. Taking a public petition filed by Maqsood Ahmad Awan and Munawar Khan, convener of committee said that petroleum was a key sector playing a vital role in the development of the country, adding that it was essential to provide constitutional rights to the people associated with the down stream sector.

It was brought into the notice of the sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources that there is a huge irregularity in the supply and payment of furnace oil to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The petitioners alleged that instead of PSO private OMCs were providing furnace oil to the IPPs, which was violation of the agreement.

The convener said that negligence has taken place in the supply and freight of furnace oil to IPPs. He asked the oil marketing committee: “What action be taken on the complaints against the OMCs?” He further questioned: “OGRA has issued licences to OMCs; the committee should be informed where are they working?”

He asked the representatives of all the oil marketing companies (OMCs) to attend next meeting of the committee to explain why people related to transporation and carriage of fuel were facing problems.

Senator Baz Mohammad said that Director General Oil, ministry of petroleum was unaware of the provision of furnace oil by private OMCs to the IPPs. OGRA officials informed the meeting that 23 licenses were issued for OMCs but only 16 companies are operational. Oil Companies Advisory Council said that OMCs licensing policy should be changed.

The sub-committee was constituted by the chairman Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources after receiving a petition against OMCs, National Electricity Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), Independent Power Plants, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and other relevant entities indicating the problems being faced by the people associated with business.

The committee members said that they will listen to all the stakeholders and will come out with a comprehensive plan aiming at permanent solution to problems of the concerned people. The committee members said that with effective policies every issue can be addressed, adding that state has established necessary departments to address such problems but officials concerned are not taking required steps.

The committee suggested devising such a mechanism with banning sale/purchase of substandard petroleum products in the market and creating competitive environment to help promote legal trade. The committee directed the officials to present all the record related to OMCs, NEPRA tariff and other relevant details in the next meeting.