ISLAMABAD – Calling the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority a ‘redundant’ organisation, Dr Asim Hussain, the prime minister’s advisor on petroleum and natural resources, on Thursday sought to disband it through legislation.
The premier’s adviser told the House the PPP-led government provided Rs300 subsidy per mmbtu gas costing Rs400 which, according to him, was the highest one by any gas producing country in the world and which also was permitted by the OGRA.
Dr Hussain, to a question from MNA Tahira Aurganzeb, cautioned that “if the regulatory body continued to exist, we would end up with another bankrupt organisation”. He explained to the lawmakers that consumer cost of natural gas was low because of which the government had to bear a major portion of gas price.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources recently forwarded three proposals of dissolving the OGRA, putting the regulator under the ministry's purview and amending the OGRA Ordinance in order to curtail its powers.
With a sparse presence of legislators from both sides of the aisle, the House could only take three agenda items out of a total of twenty-six.
Taking the floor on a point of order, PML-N legislator Anusha Rehman drew the attention of the House to PTV's issue of Ayesha Sana. "This matter should be resolved now," she demanded as she called for putting MNA Kashmala Tariq on the sub-committee dealing with the matter.
Other legislators from treasury and opposition benches tried to speak on the same issue, but the chair did not allow and adjourned the House instead.
The same matter was raised by PML Likeminded MNA Kashmala Tariq in the last sitting. She said the managing director of the state-run television had been avoiding appearance in meetings of the Human Rights Committee.
Meanwhile, PPP lawmaker, Jamshaid Dasti, on a point of order, said some media outlets were flashing reports about a specific community raising voice against creation of new provinces in the country. He warned the media not to compel the masses go against them.
In response to his terse remarks, PML-N’s Anusha Rehman said one should have courage to bear criticism or others viewpoint. "We are not against formation of new provinces with a proper mechanism in place, but not like this," she affirmed.