ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly standing committee on petroleum and natural resources on Wednesday demanded a reversal of the decision to increase oil prices.
The committee unanimously condemned the recent hike in petroleum prices and alleged that the statement of the petroleum minister had caused black-marketing of oil.
Chairman of the committee, Sardar Talib Nakai, alleged that after the minister made his statement, the sale of petrol stopped and the hoarding created problems for most people – and eventual profit for others.
However, talking to The Express Tribune, Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain said that he had not made any statement about a hike in oil prices.
The parliamentary body also expressed resentment that the audit report from 2006-07 to the members of standing committee had been provided by the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited.
OGDCL officials offered a detailed briefing on inquiries conducted over alleged embezzlement, but the committee members refused to hear their view and asked them to leave.
While talking to journalists after the meeting, Nakai said the prime minister had also refused to meet the members.
“We have written a letter to the PM to hold a meeting, but no response has been received,” he said, adding that the government had taken an unjust decision to increase oil prices. “We demand the government to reverse the decision of oil prices that will badly hit the consumers,” he said.
He also said that OGDCL officials had also failed to brief the committee about rules and regulations relating to the appointment of a chairman of the Workers Profit Anticipation Fund.
“We have come to know that corruption of Rs260 million has occurred in OGDCL,” he said.
Additional Secretary Petroleum Nadeem Malik assured the committee that the ministry would hold an inquiry into this issue and action would be taken against the responsible officials.
Meanwhile Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s additional secretary general, Saifullah Khan Niazi, strongly condemned the increase in oil prices, stating that the rulers were conspiring to finish the poor instead of eradicating poverty.
In a statement issued from PTI’s central secretariat, Saifullah expressed deep concern over the fresh increase in petroleum and gasoline products prices. He said that the rulers are living luxurious lives and the poor have to pay for their luxury in the shape of inflation.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2012.