Fuel price adjustments: Petroleum ministry seeks to divert criticism

Says finance ministry fixes the rates.

Our Correspondent September 13, 2012


The National Assembly on Wednesday was told that the petroleum ministry has nothing to do with the price adjustment of petroleum products and that it was done by finance ministry on the proposals of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).

Responding to various questions during the question-hour, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shehnaz Sheikh said the POL prices are adjusted according to a formula approved by the government based on fluctuation in the international market.

She told the house that in order to provide relief to the consumers, the ministry of petroleum and natural resources consults the finance division for any possible changes in the petroleum levy.

In a written reply to a question from Sheikh Rohale Asghar of the PML-N, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Husain told the house that 3,518 CNG stations were operating in the country and they were consuming around 341 million cubic feet of gas per day.

According to breakdown, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has 592 CNG stations, Punjab 2,293, Sindh 613 and Balochistan 20. As for the major cities, Lahore tops the list with 338 CNG stations followed by Karachi with 332, Rawalpindi 322, Peshawar 213 and Quetta 13.

Defence Minister Syed Naveed Qamar informed the house that the government had taken a number of steps to improve the operations of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) that will ensure the timely arrival and departure of flights during the Hajj and the routine schedule.

Currently, PIA is operating on 38 international and 24 domestic routes with a fleet of 38 aircraft, he added.

He said government was planning to induct some aircraft on a dry lease to meet immediate operational requirements and tenders have been floated in this regard. He said for better management and coordination the departments of the organisation have been reduced to seven from 14.

To another question‚ Qamar said PIA had introduced 10 new domestic routes during the last four years.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.

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