PML N energy ministry gave national exchequer Rs 20 billion blow, reveals Audit Report

PML N energy ministry gave national exchequer Rs 20 billion blow, reveals Audit Report

ISLAMABAD - Accountant General Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) Wednesday informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)'s sub-committee that energy ministry had dented national exchequer by Rs20.39 billion avoiding the clause of windfall levy in the contract with an international oil and gas company.

The AGPR auditors disclosed this while discussing audit paras related to energy ministry in the meeting of PAC's sub-committee, held here under the chairmanship of Senator Shibli Faraz and attended by members national assembly Naveed Qamar and Shahida Akhtar.

They said the energy ministry had given an undue favour to the gas and petroleum company - MOL and did not include windfall levy despite the clause was enforced on internal oil production under the petroleum policy of 2012.

Director General Petroleum Concession apprised the committee that two contracts were signed in 1994 and 1997 for oil production in Tall block Hangu and the clause of windfall levy was not included in those agreements.

To this, the audit officials pointed out that in the lease of Mubarak Block, the oil company was given a benefit by not including windfall levy in the contract.

The director general informed the committee that the summary for amendment in petroleum policy was sent on May 19, 2016 for approval and subsequently, it was approved in 2017.

On January 3, 2018 the windfall levy was imposed with the approval of Council of Common Interest however, the oil companies approached Islamabad High Court for stay order into this matter.

The audit officials asked the ministry to actively pursue cases in the court of law to vacate the stay order and get the decision in their favor.

Committee Member Naveed Qamar directed the officials of the ministry to lay the unapproved supplementary grants before the parliament to avoid audit objections.

We had received a response to the letter served to the ministry saying that supplementary grants of six years would be presented in the Parliament for ratification this year, the committee secretary informed the meeting.

The audit officials while briefing the committee about supplementary grants for the year 2016-17 also informed the committee that the funds worth Rs2.35 billion were lapsed.

Responding to the objection, the official said those grants were released by the end of the fiscal year due to which it remained unspent.