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Petroleum ministry blames Ogra for fuel shortage

naveed qamarISLAMABAD: The petroleum ministry has held the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) responsible for the recent fuel crisis in the country.

In a report submitted to the petroleum minister, the office of director-general for oil said that Ogra failed to perform its duty as a regulator as it did not take timely action to head off a crisis. Ogra’s ineffectiveness resulted in black marketing of petrol and diesel in many parts of the country.

Sources in the ministry said Ogra was supposed to take steps to ensure availability of petrol across the country not only by taking measures against hoarders and black marketers but also through timely imports to meet the shortage created by the shutdown of Parco due to floods.

“The Ogra teams did nothing other than to send show-cause notices to oil marketing companies (OMCs) during the crisis and to wait for the replies to such notices,” an official said.

Petroleum Minister Syed Naveed Qamar is expected to forward the report to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat because Ogra falls under the administrative control of cabinet division.

The report added that the petroleum ministry dispatched teams to various places to examine the availability of petrol at the designated retail outlets.

Meanwhile, the recent fuel crisis has served to sharpen the differences between the ministry and the regulator.

A ministry official alleged that senior officials of Ogra drew heavy salaries (up to Rs400,000 per month) but they hardly did anything for the benefit of the industry or the consumer.

“The situation was better when the OCAC was directly monitoring the supply situation in the country,” he claimed.

Officials of Ogra declined to comment over the report or the supply position in the country.

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