PAC directs ministry to withdraw ban on new gas connections
ISLAMABAD – Chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Noor Alam Khan on Wednesday ordered the Ministry of Petroleum to immediately withdraw ban on new gas connections across the country and start their installation accordingly.
Presiding over a PAC meeting at Parliament House in which audit objections related to the Petroleum Division came under discussion, he said that all those people who have been issued demand notices by the SNGPL and SSGPL should be provided new residential connections immediately.
The PAC chief said, “We are recommending lifting of ban on all new connections and the Ministry of Petroleum should move a summary in this regard to the federal cabinet for approval.”
During discussion, it was pointed out by a member that new gas connections are not being provided by the Sui gas distribution companies at present.
The Secretary Petroleum informed the committee that the ban on new residential connections was imposed by the previous government while keeping the scarcity of gas reserves in mind.
He said there is no second argument that we have limited gas deposits left and the facility cannot be extended across the country. He informed the committee that at present only 27 percent of the country’s population is using Sui gas while the rest of the people are fulfilling their domestic needs through other means.
Secretary Petroleum said that we are providing gas on subsidised rates as our production cost is much higher than the billed cost. He informed the committee that the circular debt of the gas sector is increasing day by day and at present it is Rs1.5 trillion. He said due to the circular debt the exploration process for new deposits has been affected badly as we don’t have the money to finance these projects.
He however assured the committee that all the citizens, who have already been issued demand notices by our companies, would be given connections but for the rest of the people it is not in their powers to allow.
Meanwhile, the Chairman PAC, while taking strict action over the escape of a former managing director of Pakistan States Oil aboard, issued directions to get red warrants and ensure his arrest as soon as possible.
The said officer and some other officers of PSO were involved in Rs56 billion scam of petrol and diesel supply and he is living abroad at present.
APPLICATION AGAINST CHAIRMAN NAB
An application is submitted before the Chairman PAC by a lady Tayyaba Gull against the incumbent Chairman NAB Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal and other officers of NAB.
The applicant accused that she faced an agony trial before the NAB but later on she was honourably acquitted by the learned trial court.
She stated that case against her was based on malafide and was initiated with an ulterior motive to teach them (petitioner and her husband) a lesson on account of some personal grudges and for wrecking vengeance on the accused person.
She requested that her application may be accepted and the she along with Chairman NAB, DG NAB Lahore and other officers be summoned before the PAC as she wants to show some evidence.