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OGRA behind countywide oil crisis

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Leader of the business community and former President ICCI Shahid Rasheed Butt on Monday said only oil marketing companies (OMCs) should not be blamed for the nationwide oil crisis as Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) is also involved in it.

The crisis was in making since late March when OMSs stooped imports violating all the rules and regulations including that of maintaining a 21-day cover at all times irrespective of the circumstances.

The illegality was immediately noticed but OGRA could not take any action against OMCs as some important officials in the regulatory body were under the influence of the generous oil mafia.

Later, on the direction of the federal government, OGRA did approach the OMCs regarding violation of the law regarding maintaining mandatory stock but the directions were simply refused.

He said that it is frequently alleged that OGRA, which was established to safeguard interests of masses, is now protecting the interests of private parties involved in the oil and gas business defeating the very purpose of its existence.

Issuing notices to some OMCs amid the crisis is nothing but an eyewash, he said, adding that the most important sectors of the economy should not be left to the private companies which are only concerned about profits.

Wicked businesspersons have repeatedly proved that reducing the role of the state in the energy sector and giving the private sector more liberty will be a threat to the energy security of the country that amounts to economic suicide, he said.

He recalled that private energy companies put the security of the country at stake during the 1971 war for meager profits, therefore, they cannot be trusted.

Lauding the role of state-run Pakistan State Oil, he said that this company abstained from negative tactics and it saved the country from disorder by taking timely measures.

OGRA is victimizing PSO for a decade on the behest of private companies which has reduced its market share to less than fifty percent which should be noticed by the policymakers, he demanded.

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