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LAHORE: Oil Marketing Association of Pakistan (OMAP) has questioned and raised serious concerns over the discrimination of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) with small Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) on recommendation of the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC).

The association has also requested Ogra not to take any decision on the basis of OCAC recommendations which lacks authorization from its members and reek of bias against emerging OMCs.

Chairman OMAP Tariq Wazir Ali in a letter written to member Oil, Ogra shared his concerns over the recent proposal of OCAC to take into consideration the cumulative country-wide storage capacity of permanent license holders for retail outlet calculation quota. He also requested Ogra to ensure a level playing field for all OMCs as it is the primary duty and obligation of Ogra.

According to the letter, OMAP is engaging with OCAC (only for the purpose of obtaining data and arrangements of vessel berthing) but has not given any authorization to Secretary General OCAC in respect of the contents of the aforesaid letter as it is aimed at protecting the vested interest of few member OMCs, an act of sheer discrimination.

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The letter further reads, “We categorically state that we do not support the proposal of taking into consideration the cumulative country-wide storage capacity of permanent license holders for retail outlet calculation quota as it will result in mushroom growth of retail outlets in urban centres without the development of mandatory storage capacity by such permanent license holders who have already exhausted their allowable quota.”

Tariq Wazir also explained in the letter that further separately taking into consideration the HSD storage for additional retail outlets is also opposed on the ground that HSD & MOGAS are sold within the same premises of a retail outlet, hence allowing additional retail outlets on HSD storage capacity is beyond the comprehension of a prudent mind.

“Further it may also be kept in consideration the latest order of Honourable Lahore High Court Lahore in WP No. 70346/2021 and connected petitions which do not place any discrimination between a provisional or permanent license holder vis the activity of marketing of petroleum products. The proposal made out in para 1 of OCAC above letter is also in contradiction to the above Lahore High Court order vis the mandatory development of storage in respective provinces as enshrined in the Honourable Court Order.

OMAP has also asked Ogra to clarify that why OCAC is being privileged with special status on such policy issues, whereas OMAP member companies are an equal stakeholder and spent billions of rupees on storage developments as per Ogra directives. It is also be clarified that why oil marketing companies are compelled to buy data from OCAC. While the enormous annual fee charged by OCAC is a question mark in itself. OCAC charges equal fee from all the companies whereas we have asked them to charge the fee as per volume of the concerned OMC.

OMAP further questioned that under which legal authority OCAC is keeping the companies away from IFEM & PR meetings that do not pay fee to OCAC. Is this act of OCAC is legal & is backed up by Ogra? Why our representative legal entity OMAP is not being called for important policy decisions and all is done under a nexus between OGRA & OCAC, it asked.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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