ISLAMABAD - Setting aside the high ceiling circular debt issue of power sector, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has directed cash-starved Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to ensure timely payment to the refineries for uninterrupted production. PSO is not holding money of refineries without a reason. In fact PSO is in a fix with receivables surging above Rs 184 billion till this effect. The government has not released a single penny to PSO to run the system. Power sector owes its 90 percent of this amount so if this sector timely pays to PSO then the company would be able to pay refineries and retire LCS and ensure uninterrupted supplies to the power sector Official sources seeking anonymity told TheNation. If we receive any payments from power sector then only our cash position would allow us to pay refineries and the international suppliers, sources maintained. Official sources in PSO told TheNation that, The company is maintaining supplies of approximately 20,000 MTs to the power sector. On a daily basis 7000 MTs are being supplied to Hubco, 4000 MTs to Kapco, 4000 MTs to KESC, 2000 MTs to IPPs and 3000 MTs to Gencos. They further told that details of liabilities of PSO revealed that payable to local refineries was more than Rs 104 billion and LC payments to KPC and fuel oil suppliers was touching the tune of Rs 44 billion, which in total was above than Rs 149 billion. It is worth mentioning here that PSO on April 20, 2011 in its SoS call for funds to the Petroleum Ministry (MoP&NR), Power Ministry (MoWP) and Finance Ministry (MoF) said, We would also like to highlight that since February 1, 2011, PSO has supplied fuel oil worth approximately Rs 78b to the power sector against receipts of only Rs 45b. The deficit in payment of Rs33b along with the opening balance of Rs148b (as of February 1, 2011) has left PSO in dire straits, where PSO has already defaulted on its obligations towards tax authorities in respect of duties/taxes and is on the verge of default on its international L/C commitments worth approximately Rs 39 billion (due in the next 21 days). It is therefore requested that an amount of Rs 60 billion be released to PSO on an immediate basis in order to prevent the company from defaulting on its international commitments and also enabling the company to clear its dues towards tax authorities and local refineries, letter reads. It is not out of place to mention that according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, after the instructions of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr Asim Hussain and as part of his efforts to resolve circular debt issue, funds from the Finance Division were being arranged urgently and the Ministry is also endeavouring to resolve the issue of circular debt on a permanent basis. Interestingly, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has recently advised the refineries to continue their operations. Moreover, PSO has also been directed to ensure timely payment to the refineries for uninterrupted production. Experts were of the view that the government must adopt measures to resolve ever soaring circular debt issue of power sector otherwise a 'tsunami of inflation and liquidity crunch would badly effect the common people. The government must deeply probe the liquidity issue and there should be a high level inquiry to know the reasons and remedies to put an end to this menace which had severely affected the working of power sector consequently added miseries to the common man experts opined.