ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have called for investigating the award of a quota for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) covering a period when the party was not in power.
With the anticipation that the proposed probe may reveal names of opposition figures and anti-PML-N personalities as the contracts were awarded during the rule of retired General Pervez Musharraf and the Pakistan Peoples Party, a PML-N lawmaker said the probe would unveil names of “big fish”.
During a debate on the audit objections of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), MNA Junaid Anwar Chaudhry, a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), urged its chairman, Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, to order the OGDCL managing director to investigate how the LPG quota was awarded over the past 15 years.
Addressing Mr Shah, Junaid Chaudhry said: “Mr Chairman, I request you to order a probe in awarding of LPG quota, as we need to know who were actually allotted the quota and who had further sublet it.”
It may be mentioned that the LPG quota awarded by successive governments to certain individuals and groups since 2003 was criticised by the opposition.
The award of LPG quota from the Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) was even challenged in the Supreme Court in 2011 when the then opposition leader, Khawaja Mohammad Asif of the PML-N, alleged that the quota was awarded in a non-transparent manner.
The beneficiaries of the JJVL LPG quota included close aides to Gen Musharraf, several politicians and the spouse of a senior lawyer cum politician of the PPP.
Initially Khursheed Shah, presiding over the PAC meeting, did not reply to the proposal but after some time, when more lawmakers of the PML-N joined Junaid Chaudhry and insisted on formation of a committee to probe the matter, Mr Shah half-heartedly sought a report on LPG quota from the OGDCL.
Mian Abdul Manan of the PML-N insisted that the names of those who were allotted quota during the rule of Gen Musharraf be disclosed. Sheikh Rohail Asghar suggested that the scrutiny be started from 1988.
Another PML-N lawmaker, Sardar Ashiq Hussain Gopang, supported a probe into the award of LPG quota.
Junaid Chaudhry termed it LPG leaks, on the lines of the Panama Papers leaks
PTI’S SUPPORT: Incidentally, they got outright support from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) as Shafqat Mehmood pressed for an investigation. “This is a huge scam and many people minted money in LPG deals.”
Subsequently, Khursheed Shah ordered OGDCL managing director Zahid Mir to submit a report on the LPG quota.
Mr Mir, on the other hand, told the PAC that he was ready to place “some information” before the committee, but Mr Shah asked him to submit the report during a meeting on the audit paras of OGDCL.
Courtesy : Dawn News