ISLAMABAD -  Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was Wednesday informed that OGRA awarded yearly inspection contract of over three thousand CNG stations to a third party contractor, which caused a loss of Rs370 million to national exchequer.

The committee meeting, chaired by Syed Khursheed Shah, was reviewing the audit of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources of year 2016-17.

Audit officials said that the officials of Ministry of Petroleum did not cooperate with them in the audit objections related to the ministry.

The committee members said that the ministry officials were not taking the committee meeting seriously, as they come in the meeting unprepared.

Secretary Petroleum argued that they had sought opinion of law ministry before awarding the contract to a ‘third party contractor’ for inspection of 3000 CNG stations.

Chairman PAC Syed Khursheed Shah ordered to summon chairman OGRA in next PAC committee meeting to enquire as why the contract was not awarded to the Carbon Institute of Pakistan (HCIP). The committee also sought record of payment made by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to the Sindh and Punjab Rangers for security of Sui northern and southern gas installations.

The audit officials informed that Rs48 million were paid to the Sindh Rangers and Rs54 million to the Punjab Rangers on the basis of an agreement signed between the ministry and the Rangers in 2003.

A senior PAC member Mehmood Achakzai enquired that why proper record of 14-year-old agreement had not been provided so far. He said the agreement was made in 2003 and still documents were not provided.

The audit officials said the Sindh Rangers outsourced security for Sui Southern Gas Company Limited to a private company, billing M/S Mehmood and Brothers for security through the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR).

A PAC member Sherry Rehman enquired about the contractors including Barki traders. Ministry of Petroleum officials argued that this audit objection was technically not related to their ministry. The committee members asked for a complete record of the ministry's agreement with the Rangers and all payments made.