PA forms body to look into deals with firms for exploration

Published May 5, 2021
The committee has been formed against the backdrop of a resolution adopted by the provincial assembly last week. —Online/File
The committee has been formed against the backdrop of a resolution adopted by the provincial assembly last week. —Online/File

QUETTA: A 10-member special committee of the Balochistan Assembly headed by Speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo has been formed to look into the issue of licences granted to three companies for exploration of minerals, including oil and gas, in the province.

The committee has been formed against the backdrop of a resolution adopted by the provincial assembly last week. The resolution was moved by Balochistan National Party-Mengal’s legislator Sana Baloch after he pointed out on a call-attention notice that the federal government had granted licences to six mineral companies and allotted blocks to them for exploration of minerals in the province without taking the provincial leadership into confidence.

The committee headed by Speaker Bizenjo would take up the issue with the federal government and would submit its report in the provincial assembly after getting details of the agreement signed by the federal government with the companies.

Under the agreement, three large companies will start exploration of oil and gas in three blocks after investing millions of dollars.

Balochistan Assembly speaker will head 10-member special committee

According to sources, Balochistan will get only $30,000 from the huge investment.

Balochistan and other provinces were not provided any detail of the agreements signed by the federal government with oil and gas companies for exploration works in the provinces.

The resolution passed by the Balochistan Assembly termed the granting of exploration licences to these companies without informing the provinces a violation of Article 172 (3) of the Constitution.

According to a Balochistan Assembly’s notification issued here on Tuesday, Speaker Bizenjo will head the committee while its members are opposition leader Advocate Malik Sikandar, BNP-M parliamentary leader Malik Naseer Ahmed Shahwani, Education Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Balochistan parliamentary leader Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, Awami National Party’s parliamentary leader Asghar Khan Achakzai, provincial Minister Noor Mohammad Dummar, provincial Minister of BNP-Awami Mir Asadullah Baloch, Minister Abdul Khaliq Hazara, MPA Nasrullah Zerey, MPA Gohram Bugti and MPA Sanaullah Baloch.

The committee would hold a meeting with officials concerned in Islamabad and take up the issue with them. It would submit its report to Balochistan Assembly in its next session.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2021

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