ISLAMABAD -  The federal government is not paying salaries to the provincial directors working in Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions (DGPC) Petroleum Division, even after 30 months of their joining.

In October 2016, the federal government agreed to provide MP-II scale to the provincial directors but the decision was not executed, official source told The Nation. The official said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had nominated its director to DGPC in 2014, followed by Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab but so far no salary was paid by the federal government. All the provinces are demanding the finalisation of pay structure for the provincial directors working in DGPC; however, in violation of Petroleum Policy 2012 and 18th amendment the federal government is not paying any salaries.

The government has so far failed to implement the more important clause of the Petroleum Policy 2012. Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa directors have already joined DGPC, however, Punjab and Sindh have nominated their representatives but they haven’t joined yet. The main reason behind, the reluctance of Punjab’s and Sindh directors to not join DGPC, is failure of the government to execute the pay structure for the provincial directors. The directors who have already joined are working without any payment for the last three years, he added.

Giving details about the issue, the official said that Article 172(3) of the Constitution inserted in the Constitution of Pakistan through Constitution (18th Amendment) Act 2010, defines the ownership of provinces and federal government in mineral oil and natural gas. According the petroleum policy, “Subject to the existing commitments and obligations, mineral oil and natural gas within the provinces or the territorial waters adjacent thereto shall vest jointly and equally in that province and federal government”.

In pursuance of Article 172(3) the Council of Common Interest (CCI) approved Petroleum Policy 2012 formulated by Ministry of Petroleum. The said policy calls for reorganisation of Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions (DGPC). According to Clause 1.3.6 (policy objectives) of Petroleum Policy 2012, “To enable a more proactive management of resources through establishment of a reorganised Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions (DGPC) comprising a federal and provincial representative with federal director as ex-officio Director General and providing the necessary control and procedures to enhance the effective management of Pakistan’s petroleum reserves”.

Regarding the payment of salaries to provincial directors, the official said that according the Petroleum Policy 2012 provincial directors and CFO shall draw their pay from a separate fund to be established at DGPC. Finance Division has also made it clear that the said fund has to be established by the Petroleum Ministry.

To resolve the issue, the government had constituted Anomaly Committee to remove the anomalies and difficulties faced by the provinces in the implementation of 18th amendments in the oil and gas sector. Earlier, the provinces were demanding MP-1 salaries for their directors; however, after the federal government told them that they can only give them MP-2 salaries the provincial government agreed with the decision. In the committee meeting, the federal government has refused to offer MP-1 pay scale to the provincial directors as usually this pay scale is being offered to MDs, CEOs and other high officials, the official said.

The committee in its meeting held on October 3, 2016, deliberated upon the issue at greater length and decided that salaries to provincial directors will be paid out of DGPC Training Fund, salary will be Rs2,50,000 per month (all inclusive), arrears to KP Director will be paid at the rate of his last drawn salary from government at the time of his retirement in March 2015 after execution of formal employment/service contract with DGPC. It was also decided that in case the provincial representative in DGPC is a government official he will just get deputation allowance but if he/she is not the government official then they will get MP-II salary per month, the official added.

Although on May 22, 2017, DGPC issued a service contract and was forwarded to DGPC DG on August 3, 2017, for approval and execution. However, despite the lapse of one year of the anomaly committee decision the issue of payment to the provincial directors is pending, the official said.