The Sub-Committee of National Assembly on Petroleum and Natural Resources on Tuesday expressing serious anger over the delay in completion of parliamentarians’ gas schemes has directed the Petroleum Ministry to ensure completion of these projects.

The meeting of the committee chaired by its convener, Malik Ihtebar Khan, took up the issues related to ongoing progress on different gas developmental schemes in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the issue of skilled and unskilled jobs for locals in oil/gas producing areas and government’s policy on gas supply to locals in gas producing areas.

Malik Ihtebar Khan has blamed that SNGPL officials were providing new gas connections to those people who are offering bribe to them and one can get new connection by offering Rs 50,000 to the company officials.

Amjad Latif, Deputy Managing Director Operations SNGPL requested the committee to provide details of such connections and the company will take serious action against all such officials as there is no such provision in company law.

Malik Ihtebar Khan while rejecting stance of Sui-Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) officials, accused the gas utility company of discrimination in the implementation of schemes. “The gas utility was not completing gas schemes in rural areas and was just focusing in urban areas,” he maintained.

Amjad Latif, Deputy Managing Director Operations SNGPL briefing the committee on the issue of provision of new gas connections said that since 2013 the gas company has followed a strict merit policy and not a single connection was provided to anybody without observing merit. However, SNGPL officials maintained that following the government policy of providing gas connection on urgent fee basis (which is fixed at Rs 25,000) only 10 percent gas connections were being provided on urgent fee basis.

Member Committee Akram Durrani said that an amount of Rs 27 billion was being collected from Kohat, Karak and Hangu on account of royalty but provincial government of KP was not ready to invest Rs 3 billion to lay gas pipeline network in these areas which has led to massive gas theft.

“The government had imposed a ban on the provision of new commercial and industrial gas connections in 2011 due to serious gas shortage and in Punjab there was no gas available for new consumers, while hundreds of thousands applications for new gas connections were pending with SNGPL”, the committee was informed.

Member Committee Shehyar Khan Afridi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf said that SNGPL authorities have ignored public representatives in recruiting and developmental schemes. “Salaries of my two real brothers were suspended by SNGPL for 9 months, dozens of people were provided with jobs in Kohat region but I was not consulted,” he said. He alleged that even oil/gas exploration and production companies have never bother to consult the local MNA in taking up the developmental schemes.

“I along with the people of Kohat will start a protest against discriminatory treatment meted out by SNGPL authorities and will not allow expansion of network in the region unless problem being faced by the people of my constituency are not addressed,” Afridi threatened.

Deputy Managing Director Operations SNGPL further requested the committee members to share the details of gas developmental schemes in their constituencies with him and he will try his best to address their issues. He added that keeping in view the serious nature of gas shortage SNGPL was not in a position to expand network.