Issue of de-linking petroleum, gas authority from provincial oversight is with CCI: PM Abbasi

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ISLAMABADPrime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday informed the Senate that the issue of de-linking petroleum and gas authority from provincial oversight was with the Council of Common Interests (CCI) but changes were required to make it more practical for the provinces to exercise their rights after 18th constitutional amendment.

Responding to an adjournment motion regarding recent move of the federal government to de-link petroleum and gas authority from provincial oversight, the prime minister said post-18th amendment, every province should have its own authority to deal with the problems of that province, as each province had its own unique issues.

As the Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGCL) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) were public limited companies, so the particular issue did not require the consent of CCI. The companies could be unbundled or bifurcated into parts but “we thought it important to involve the provinces and get their consent”, the PM added.

PM Abbasi further stated that there was a need for a transmission company to manage transmission of gas from one province to the other, especially in case of imported one. It is a standard methodology all over the world, so this is what we are working on, he added.

The prime minister told the house that another issue was of the director general for petroleum concessions (PC) in the Ministry of Petroleum, who was inducted after the 18th amendment for provincial representation.

He said that a model Petroleum Concession Agreement (PCA) was in practice. The choices there were that each province should have its own PC DG, which, however, was not practical if an independent regulator for petroleum concessions with representation from the provinces was there, he added.

These are the issues on which we are working on, PM Abbasi said.

The prime minister said that there were many other larger issues which had been brought to the notice of CCI. Several meetings of the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination had been held and the issues were being discussed in the CCI and would continue to be discussed.