Meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum was held at Parliament House on Monday with Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir in the Chair.
Chairman Committee Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir inquired as to what is the Criteria for fixing of gas prices and its distribution. He was of the view that Domestic consumers should be given the top priority in that regard. Domestic users should be charged at affordable rates and industrial units as per the sector concerned. CNG sector should be allowed to import gas on their own in order to reduce the burden on government. Gas distribution should be prioritized sector wise, he added. Chairman committee remarked that direct subsidy to fertilizer industry is not sustainable. Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir expressed his reservations on the mounting circular debt which currently stands at Rs 1500 Billion. Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir stressed the need to find a permanent solution to this recurring problem. The Committee also deliberated on the problems faced by Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) regarding gas supply. President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry briefed the Committee about the grievances of industrialists which includes non-availability of gas for industrial sector for last four months. The Chairman Committee Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir opined that the major cause behind the current economic deterioration is a gap between import and export value and to bring down this trade deficit, we need to give incentives and boost our local Industries. He further requested Minister of State for Petroleum Division Senator Musadik Masood Malik to pay attention to the concerns of Karachi Industrialists and come up with appropriate solutions.
The Committee also discussed the relevant rules, which allow the Oil Marketing Companies to mix High Octane Blending Component (HOBC97). Minister of State for Petroleum Division Senator Musadik Masood Malik told the Committee that ministry only regularizes those products which are utilized by masses at large scale like RON 92 and HOBC97 does not fall in this category. Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir advised the ministry to at least check the authenticity of this new product.
While deliberating on the issue of Explosive Department binding people to lease their properties to particular Oil Marketing Companies for the purpose of business. Spokesperson of Explosive Department told the Committee that there is no such binding on individual person and Explosive Department only grants license for petrol pump to oil marketing companies. Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir stressed that the objective should be to create ease for businessmen not hurdles.
The Committee considered the Public Petition on the issue of meter tampering and over billing referred by Honourable Chairman Senate. Chairman Committee pronounced that the services of Independent third party should be hired, which will help the authority in detection of theft through scientific means.
The meeting was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad,Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi,Senator Afnan Ullah Khan,Senator Shammim Afridi,Senator Saifullah Abro Minister of State for Petroleum Senator Musadik Masood Malik,Secretary for Ministry of Petroleum, Chairman OGRA Masroor Khan,Members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries and other senior officers of ministry and Sui Southern Gas Company as well.