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ISLAMABAD: In a surprise move, the federal government, on Saturday, removed Dr Arshad Mahmood, a grade 22 officer from the post of secretary Petroleum Division and directed him to report to the Establishment Division till further order.

Ali Raza Bhutta, presently posted as secretary Power Division is assigned additional charge of the post of secretary Power Division for a period of three months or till the posting of a regular incumbent, whichever is earlier.

Dr Arshad was appointed as secretary Petroleum Division in May 2021 and served the Division for almost seven months.

Sources in the Petroleum Division said that the secretary was removed amid some major challenges.

Portfolios of some key federal secretaries changed

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) met in August under Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin did not approve the Pakistan Refinery Policy 2021, as Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives, opposed it, arguing that the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) was the right forum to take up refining policy.

Expressing his annoyance over not being given the policy draft by the Petroleum Division, Asad asked how he could give his input for the policy without going through the document first.

The Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) also approached the Petroleum Division with a complaint that huge volumes of furnace oil were being imported, while the oil was not being purchased from domestic refineries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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