ISLAMABAD -AHMAD AHMADANI - The British Government would go for legal action and would also withdraw its support for LNG Project if pending Rsl0 billion worth of dues of Shell Oil were not paid on an urgent basis by the Government of Pakistan, reliable sources said on Friday. Available copy of a letter wrote to Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources (MPNR) by President’s Secretariat (Public)’s U.O.Nol (48)/AS (AF)/2013 dated 06 February, 2013 has disclosed to TheNation that in a meeting with the Secretary General Salman Farooqi to the President Asif Ali Zardari, the British High Commissioner Adam Thomson CMG complained that refund of Shell Oil dues were still pending with the Government of Pakistan (GoP). He said that if refunds were not made urgently, which are legally due, the Shell Oil is likely to go for legal action or British Prime Minister will be constrained to write to the President and/or Prime Minister of Pakistan. This would also constraint the British Government to withdraw its support for the LNG Project. “It has been desired that the Ministry may kindly look into the British High Commissioner’s complaint and action taken so far the payment of Shell Oil’s due may be convened to this secretariat at the earliest,” letter reads. Official sources in petroleum ministry has told that the consumers of petroleum products had been given RsI0.8 billion subsidy from 2004 to 2008 while Rs 5 billion during 2009 to 2010 with the approval of the Premieres. Finance ministry had issued worthy amount of Rsl0.8 billion in 2010-11 while Rs5 billion during 2011-12 to PSO, Shell Oil and four other oil marketing companies (OMCs) over a summary of petroleum ministry. Over which Auditor General of Pakistan wrote audit paras and fixed negligence on the then Secretary Petroleum Ejaz Chaudry and his concerned team. Upon this, though the ministry took a team of auditor general to the head offices of all concerned companies and shown their previous years records and approved summaries of Prime Minister(s), yet the auditor general has so far declined to settle these paras. Owing to the strict stance of audit team, the ministry of petroleum & natural resources has distanced itself from issuing more money to the oil marketing companies resultantly Rs2 billion dues of Shell Oil are still pending with the GoP. About remaining Rs8 billion outstanding dues of Shell Oil, the ministry’s officials have informed that the Shell Oil had supplied petroleum products to Afghanistan under a policy of GoP during 2003 to 2008. Due to Pakistan’s policy, exemption of GST and Petroleum Development Levy (PDL) were given over the supply of petroleum products to Afghanistan. Ministry of Finance and FBR are bound to refund Rs 8 billion to Shell Oil but despite passing three long years even the finance ministry did not bother to refund the said hefty dues to the oil firm (Shell Oil). When contacted with the spokesman of FBR Israr Rauf to get the board’s stance on long pending dues of Shell Oil, he told that there are no dues of Shell Oil lying pending with the board and whereas the issue of petroleum levy is concerned, it is between petroleum and finance ministries. And, whereas the collection of PDL over supply of petroleum products to war torn Afghanistan is concerned, he said the petroleum ministry itself collects the PDL as such collections is not done by the FBR. “Last month the FBR had paid Rs1 billion to the Shell Oil on account of tax refund, said spokesman of FBR. Secretary Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources Abid Saeed said that the issue of outstanding dues of Shell Oil is in under process at the Ministry of Finance. “We are trying our level best to get the matter resolve as early as possible in the better interest of nation and country as well, Abid Saeed said, adding, that the ministry of petroleum is trying hard to urgently resolve the price differential claims of oil companies and we had have a meeting with the Shell Oil to get amicable solution of the dues. The spokesman of Shell Oil Abid Ibrahim when contacted to get company’s stand on the matter, said that though the ministry agrees that it has to give the dues yet no step has been taken so far by the concerned authorities to clear the long pending dues of the company. He also said the government has to give dues of Shell Oil on account of General Sales Tax (GST), Price Differential Claims (PDC) and Petroleum Development Levy (PDL).It merits mentioning here that UK based QED firm has assured provision of• consultancy services in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import Project to Pakistan. However, now British Government has threatened withdrawal of support in LNG import if dues of Shell Oil are not paid urgently.