ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has found serious irregularities in the appointment of former chairman Ogra who contributed multi-billions additional burden to gas consumers and issuance of 47 illegal licences for setting up of CNG stations.
Sources have informed that the NAB viewing the public interest on the pretext of misuse of public office has sought permission from the honourable SC to start criminal proceeding. They were of the view that further investigations against the appointment of Tauqir Sadiq will contribute difficulties against Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Available NAB inquiry report with TheNation reveals that the detail analysis of change of site cases, order of injunctions in theft cases, increase of well head price in Dewan Petroleum case, change of pertaining income to non-operating income and increase in UFG benchmark resulted in loss of billion of rupees. All these decisions had been taken by Ogra former Chairman and his concerned members (Mir Kamal Mari and Mansoor Muzaffar) show that how the public interest was compromised, facts were twisted and authority was misused.
The NAB report also concluded that professional experience as claimed by the former chairman was false and made up to complete the requisite experience for the post of Chairman. Further, the appointment procedure of Chairman Ogra Tauqir Sadiq was irregular. The appointment was made in disregard to the rules and due diligence required for such a high stature position. Some areas indicated reckless attitude by the Government functionaries while others hinted about the calculated move to get Tauqir Sadiq selected.
The NAB report also disclosed the misuse of authority by him and others and illegal re-location of sites despite the Government ban on new CNG stations and concludes that the guidelines incorporated in the wording of the cabinet division were not catered for by the Ogra. Instead of getting the policy guidelines from the Petroleum Ministry the chairman exceeded his power in the case. The case-to-case basis was made a way out to decide the matter as per whims and wishes of the Chairman. There was no uniform parameter to decide the case on merit. Rather discretionary and arbitrary way was adopted.
“Total 64 cases regarding the re-sitement/ change of site were dealt. Out of which 47 cases were allowed and 17 were regretted. Further, 35 sites were not visited as per provided list of Ogra”, NAB inquiry report reads, adding, “one M/s Sprint Energy Ltd got allowed eight cases of resiting without any inspection or ground visit. The provisional licences were issued within couple of days and the same person got four sites reallocated on 23-02-2011 and two on 15-03-2011, one on 23-03-2011 and one on 24-03-2011 on various sites of Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin, Okara, Gujrat etc. The reason of all these relocation was non-availability or refusal of gas supply by SNGPL”.
The provisional licences were granted to the Express Link Filling Station Sheikhupura and Gold Flower CNG Station Islamabad. The issue of converting operating income top non-income is a glaring example of the misuse of authority and illegal decision by Tauqir Sadiq, which was also a complete violation of the Federal Government that was in vogue since last two decades or so. Even DG (Gas) under the regulation, prior to treat only interest and dividend as non-operating income while all other incomes were deemed operating.
The report also pointed out that Tauqir Sadiq along with other members relaxed the UFG to 7 percent thereby causing a damage of approximately Rs5 billion for FY2009-10 for both companies (SSGC & SNGPL) despite the failure of gas companies to bring up any substantive reason for revision of the same. The cumulative impact of UFG in FY2009-10, 10-11 and 11-12 had reached a whopping total of Rs19.5 billion. In the report about five cases of theft of gas has been mentioned in which the member gas issued stay orders/ injunctions despite the fact that as per regulation he has no authority to entertain the cases, especially, wherein designated office/ licence has already established theft of gas.
The NAB report further disclosed that some of the appointments on contract basis have been done using discretion power by Ex-Chairman. In one case Ms Khalida Gulnar an officer of Postal Staff was requisitioned on deputation and written test of Jawad Jamil (Nephew of Tauqir Sadiq) appointed as Staff Officer to Ex-Chairman, could not be found in the record of Ogra. Further, total payment on the account of legal and professional charges in two years were Rs 17,078,200 out of which Rs 13,274,000 were paid to the lawyers.