PAC slams charging RLNG tariff from domestic gas users

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has expressed its annoyance over charging of RLNG tariff from domestic gas users by the companies and termed it exploitation which should be ended.

A Public Accounts Committee meeting held with Rana Tanveer Hussain in the chair on Wednesday examined audit paras of Petroleum division for 2019-20.

The Petroleum division told the PAC a gas load management plan for winter would be presented in the ECC meeting on Friday (tomorrow) and it would be implemented after approval.

About charging of RLNG tariff from domestic consumers by the gas companies, PAC member Noor Alam Khan termed it unjustified and said the Constitution called for equal treatment of people.

PAC Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain said exploitation of domestic gas consumers should be ended.

PAC member Khwaja Muhammad Asif said that had the LNG plant been installed on time, there would not have been gas shortage in the country.

The MD of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) also agreed with Khawaja Muhammad Asif. The Khawaja said the LNG terminal was not even being utilised fully.

The PAC was told that over Rs321 billion were yet to be received from refineries and gas companies and this payment was pending since June 30, 2019.

Audit officials told the committee that so far a recovery of Rs85 billion had been made.

Senator Sherry Rehman expressed concern over the gas shortage and said that even Islamabad faced loadshedding.

Hina Rabbani Khar said rising of circular debt was a serious issue as it had in the last two years.

The SNGPL MD told the committee that there was a shortage of 250MMCFD and it was expected that around 140MMCFD would enter into the local gas system.

The committee was told Karachi would get 150MMCFD additional gas from December. It was also informed an agreement with Russia for a gas pipeline was expected within few days.

The Petroleum division secretary told the committee that the RNLG tariff was being charged from new housing societies.

Secretary Main Asad Hayuddin told the PAC that the ECC had formed a committee to review five different options to reduce the rising debt of gas and petroleum companies.

He told the PAC that the committee would also consider the proposal of an average gas price formula across the country.

It was also informed that gas would be costly by 25 percent for consumer as there was no long-term option other than implementation of an average price formula to meet the deficit in winter.

Most of the PAC members left the meeting in the middle.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif told the committee that five of his friends were tested positive for Corona and all of us should also take precautionary measures.

PAC Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain directed the Auditor General of Pakistan to bring five audit paras in the next meeting.

This article originally appeared on The News International