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Coronavirus
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524hr
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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel imposed penalty on Petroleum Division for the secretary Petroleum Division's absence from the important committee meeting without prior approval.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC)'s sub-committee met, here on Tuesday, to examine the audit report of the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), the companies that come under the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) for the years, 2010-11 to 2018-19.

Convener Committee Syed Naveed Qamar deferred the proceedings of the committee, after waiting for a while for the secretary petroleum (Principal Accounting Officer) with utter displeasure.

In his ruling, he asked the officials of the Petroleum Division to meet the expenditure of members and representatives of the companies who travelled from other cities to attend the committee meeting.

A number of officials of both the OGDCL and the SSGCL came to attend the meeting to respond to audit objections pertaining to them.

The audit officials supposed to present the audit reports in the committee meeting, which covered audit objections from year 2008 when Khawaja Muhammad Asif was the minister for Petroleum to Omar Ayub Khan, who had the charge of petroleum minister in 2019.

Naveed Qamar asked the PAC staff to write a letter to the speaker National Assembly and the directive of the committee to recover expenditure of Tuesday's meeting.

He declined to accommodate the request of the officials of the division to allow them to respond to the audit objections as secretary petroleum was in the cabinet meeting and not picking up his mobile.

Earlier, an official informed the committee that he (the secretary) was on his way. Naveed Qamar said it was unfortunate that the secretary did not inform the committee about his engagement in the Cabinet meeting and kept committee members waiting.

Member Committee Ahmed Khan said he travelled 1,000 km to participate in the committee; however, his time was wasted. On Tuesday, the committee had to discuss Rs24.1 billion worth of 45 audit paras, which audit officials presented before the committee for discussion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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