ISLAMABAD - An ugly bureaucratic move is lurking to minimise and make disputed regulator’s role that suppose to protect consumers in policy matters, the baboos at Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP&NR) had amazingly sought ECC nod to desist Ogra from issuing policy statement in what appears to be an unprecedented move in the petroleum and gas sector, thanks to the notorious characters at the said ministry. Informed circles well aware of the development told TheNation that top guns of the MP&NR in a surprising move had sought approval from the ECC of the cabinet on a summary to limit the role of Ogra on policy matters. They said the influential high ups of MP&NR in a desperate bid to diminish the regulator’s role had ostensibly sat aside the provisions of Ogra Ordinance by asking the ECC to stop Ogra’ over loudly voicing in favour of consumer rights. Ogra while acting upon the powers and responsibilities of protecting consumers rights already given in its Ordinance since last one and half years had been found a stumbling block to the powerful baboos of the MP&NR in their various desperate moves to benefit the ‘LPG, LNG, gas and petroleum mafia’ resultantly the high ups of Petroleum Ministry led by its mighty minister Dr Asim Hussain are now a days very much annoyed with its role of protecting the consumers from additional burden as and when the MP&NR designed to impose, they added.
It is worth mentioning here that so far Ogar viewing the miseries of hard pressed consumers bearing skyrocketing prices of gas and POL prices had strongly opposed the ill-conceived vision of the ministry seeking LPG air mix projects, imported LNG and expansive LPG projects including fortnightly pricing of the products of petroleum oil and lubricants (POL). The imported gas projects if get approval from the concerned corners and be implemented in the energy starved country, then they all would eventually add insult to the injuries of common man by giving sky-high raise in the prices of gas. Further, Ogra version in this regard has been getting heavy support in the ECC meeting from the majority of its (ECC) members.
Beside all this, influential ‘business acumen’ Petroleum Minister, during last session of National assembly Standing Committee , severely grilled Ogra over recommending reduction to government in monthly oil pricing summary and expressed his annoyance by saying that who has given powers to Ogra to recommend us.
Due to sever and loud criticism of the influential minister on Ogra’s role, a wave of silence overwhelmed the committee meeting and all members including Chairman of that NA panel was found surprised over the shouting and the way a minister of a democratically elected government is grilling Ogra just on the pretext of favouring consumers interests while determining prices of POL products no matter the govt had already collected more GST on POL products above the targets.