ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary sub-committee ordered on Wednesday arrest of the managing directors of two leading energy companies — Pakistan State Oil and Pak Arab Refinery Limited — for not appearing before it to testify over a large quantity of diesel and furnace oil from a pipeline jointly owned by them.
“We express serious concern and direct that they should be arrested and presented at the next meeting,” said MNA Jamshed Dasti who heads the sub-committee of the National Assembly on Petroleum and Natural resources. He said over 1.6 million litres of oil had been stolen from the pipeline near Mehmoodkot.
A meeting of the sub-committee had been convened to discuss loss of billions of rupees caused to the national exchequer on account of theft of oil from the PSO/Parco combined pipeline at Mehmoodkot near Muzaffargarh.
The sub-committee will now meet on Jan 31 after a planned visit by it with members to Mahmoodkot for the site inspection on Jan 21.
Officials of Punjab police and PSO have confirmed the theft from the pipeline.
The meeting directed the Punjab police and agencies in the petroleum sector to complete investigation into the scandal, take action within 20 days and submit a report to the committee. In the event of their failure to do so, the committee would submit its recommendations to the Supreme Court, Mr Dasti said.
The Punjab police told the committee that furnace oil and diesel worth millions of rupees had been stolen from the PSO-Parco pipeline and eight cases had been registered. Five accused have been arrested and recoveries of Rs8.5 million have been made so far.
A report from the Pakistan State Oil confirmed that 123,225 litres of oil had been stolen from the pipeline on Nov 7 last year of which 64,720 litres had been recovered while 58,595 litres had gone missing. The committee was also informed that another theft had been reported on Nov 9 but the quantity could not be ascertained.
Mr Dasti alleged that officials of PSO and police were involved in the theft but no action was being taken against them. He said a station house officer and his relatives were involved in the case and a case had been registered against them and the sub-committee has recommended his replacement but no action has so far been taken.
Mr Dasti of PPP blamed the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain for the CNG crisis in the country.
He said the Supreme Court of Pakistan had been taking notice of deviations, otherwise some politicians and bureaucrats would have sold the country by now. He said the apex court had also taken a decision against him but one should acknowledge the court’s contribution.
Petroleum Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan told the committee that PSO managing director could not attend the meeting because of pollen allergy. He said he would personally investigate the case and report to the committee.