The five-member Inquiry Commission headed by Additional DG FIA Abubakar Khudabaksh has completed its report on June 2020 oil shortage. As per the report, 9 Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs)-except PSO and Shell-hoarded the fuel and earned billions during the crisis.
As per report, these OMCs deliberately stopped the supply of petroleum products to petrol pumps, despite having considerable stocks. It further said that these OMCs make Rs6 billion to Rs8billion during the oil crisis. “These oil companies committed every illegality in a business-as-usual manner from June 1 to June 26,” the commission stated.
The report stated that the government cut the prices of petrol substantially on May 31 and brought it to Rs74.52. In result, these OMCs would have incurred inventory loss with the free sale in June, so they simply let the supplies to dry slowly, against all legal and moral norms, the commission reported.
Role of OGRA and Petroleum Division, Along with Oil Companies:
The report has also uncovered numerous failures by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Ministry of Petroleum during the shortage. “During the crisis, OGRA remained as apathetic to the situation as a non-functional entity,” the report said. It further stated that OGRA did issue show-cause notices to 9 OMCs and fined them a total of Rs50 million. However, these notices were more of a defensive ploy by OGRA instead of proper legal steps.
The commission also mentions the repeated failures of OGRA since 2002, including issuing licenses to OMCs without following proper procedure. The commission said that the oil industry would have been better off had there been no OGRA. It even strongly recommended dissolution of OGRA through an act of parliament within six months.
Action Against DG Oil, Petroleum Division Officers:
The commission also recommended department/panel action against the current DG Oil Dr Shafi-ur-Rehman. “The grade-20 officer has no previous experience related to post of DG Oil, and this fact reflects gross violations on the part of MoEPD,” the report said.
The commission also recommended strong action against Imran Ali Abro and other officers in the Petroleum Division. Reportedly, Abro the kingpin in the Petroleum Division and calls the shots on behalf of his superiors. The report also mentioned that Abro signed the so-called import ban letter, dated March 25, 2020.
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