Senate panel forms body for staff hiring in oil, gas firms

Seeks details of unspent CSR funds in the entire country


Senator Jahanzeb Jamaldini was of the view that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) did not improve living standards of people in coastal areas as they were facing acute shortage of drinking water. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: The Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum has constituted a sub-committee for implementing the government’s policy on hiring in oil and gas exploration and production companies.

Members of the new committee will visit eight hydrocarbon exploration blocks and analyse the employment situation there.

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The Senate panel, chaired by Senator Mohsin Aziz, also discussed the failure on the part of exploration companies to install reverse osmosis (RO) plants for water purification in Sanghar district of Sindh.

It sought details from deputy commissioner of the district of the steps taken to establish RO plants in the area. It also wanted to know the details of tenders being floated for installation of the plants and the funds spent so far.

Petroleum secretary told the meeting that the local administration did not bother to utilise the funds collected by oil and gas exploration companies under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme for the uplift of local communities.

Letters have been written to all chief secretaries who will ensure that funds are spent on CSR activities.

The committee sought details of the unspent CSR funds from the entire country within two weeks. It directed oil and gas exploration companies to install 10 RO plants.

The deputy managing director of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) informed the committee that the company was spending Rs1 billion annually on CSR activities in exploration sites.

Senator Jahanzeb Jamaldini was of the view that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) did not improve living standards of people in coastal areas as they were facing acute shortage of drinking water. “Drinking water is being stolen from Gwadar,” he alleged.

The senator emphasised that oil and gas exploration companies should give employment to natives on a priority basis.

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The managing director of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) briefed the committee on the firm’s exploration activities, saying it had 48 blocks for hydrocarbon exploration, of which it was drilling wells in 15.

OGDC owns 47 oilfields across the country including 15 in Punjab, three in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 26 in Sindh and three in Balochistan.

Senator Shamim Afridi argued that gas tariff was higher in Punjab than Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2018.

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