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Lack of new gas connections irks PAC | The Express Tribune




The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament on Friday demanded that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif should take notice of the authorities’ lack of permission to allow new gas connections.

The meeting of the PAC, presided over by it chairman Noor Alam Khan, took up the audit report of the Petroleum Division and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) for the period of 2019-20.

A total of 53 audit objections of the Petroleum Division and Ogra worth more than Rs210 billion were presented for discussion in the PAC.

However, because of the absence of the petroleum secretary as well as the managing directors of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) from the meeting, the committee was unable to discuss the report.

The PAC members expressed their displeasure over the absence of these officials from the huddle.

The Petroleum Division officials told the  participants of the meeting that their secretary and MDs of both the gas companies were on leave.

PML-N’s Barjees Tahir, a member of the committee, said the two gas companies had left pipelines in the whole country, wasting billions of rupees.

He added that the pipelines had been laid but meters were not being installed.

Another member, PML-N’s Shaikh Rohale Asghar said the existing customers were not receiving gas, so where would the new ones obtain it from.

He continued that the factories from which the stoves were supposed to burn in homes were also not receiving gas.

The PAC demanded that the prime minister should take stock of this situation.
The committee adjourned the meeting because of incomplete quorum.

An interesting situation arose in the meeting when the auditor general of Pakistan tried to say farewell words believing it was the last huddle of the PAC.

To this, Noor told the auditor general that it was not the last meeting of the committee.

In response, the auditor general said in the last meeting, the chairman had presented the performance report of the PAC, giving the impression that today would be its last huddle.

PAC Chairman Noor told him that he became worried after hearing the news in the media for some days that the assembly could be dissolved at any time.

He continued that he had presented the report in case the assembly would be dissolved during his visit to the UN.

Noor said if the assembly was not dissolved, he would preside over the last session of the PAC after his return from the US.

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