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Petrol shortages: 'Independent' body formed to carry out probe

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted a four-member "independent" technical committee to probe and...

June 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted a four-member "independent" technical committee to probe and verify the prompt actions taken by both Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Petroleum Division to handle the petroleum crises.

The committee has been directed to submit a report by July 10, 2020. According to the terms of reference of the committee, it will identify as well as fix responsibility if any, on any individual, officer, organization including any purported benefit to a private party, besides suggesting recommending way forward for future course of action so as to ensure that such crises does not recur.

The independent committee will carry out the forensic investigations of OGRA, Petroleum Division reports in light of OMCs' claims, sources said.

The committee will further evaluate possibility of market manipulation and cartelization by OMCs and retail outlets and other linked issued of petrol shortages.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shahzad Syed Qasim, former Director General (Oil) Petroleum Division, Ashan Murtaza Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Petroleum Institute of Pakistan and Naazir Abbas Zaidi, former Senior General Manager Pakistan State Oil (PSO), are the members of the committee. SAPM is heading the committee. The committee can ask any other member for its assistance to complete the independent inquiry. No serving member from Petroleum Division or Ogra has been taken in the committee.

The committee has been tasked to identify the causes of petrol shortages in the light of impact of price decrease on import/ availability of petrol. The committee is also looking into hoarding if any, by the OMCs including curtailing the supply from depots to retail outlets. Hoarding if any by petrol stations and whether the availability of petrol, this year was higher compare to last year in the corresponding months.

The committee will further analyse the impact of the Covid-19 on petrol consumption.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020