‘Delay tactics of bureaucracy hinder completion of development schemes’


ISLAMABAD: Legislative body of the Upper House on Wednesday expressed serious concern over delay tactics of OGRA for completing public representative gas development scheme of public welfare on which more than 80 percent work had already been completed.
This was explained in Senate Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures, who discussed the privilege motion moved by Senator Muhammad Zahid Khan regarding failure of the ministry of petroleum, OGRA and SNGPL in starting work on the provision of gas supply to Lower Dir, Talash, Timergarah, Malakand, Kuhary, Rabat Mandesh and Hajiabad. Members of the committee expressed serious reservations that OGRA is creating hurdles in completing public representative schemes.
The mover, Senator Zahid Khan said that the then Prime Minister in 2012 approved gas supply scheme to Upper Dir and its adjoining areas on which more than 80 percent already completed. The work on the scheme has been stopped for last two months because the SNGPL seek approval from OGRA and it was not granted.  
Chairman OGRA Saeed Khan told the committee that the authority has no objection over the scheme and not it creates problems for its completion. But there is legal problem, one of the OGRA member retired on 3rd July and his replacement still not done. It is duty of the government to appoint member of the OGRA and complete its Board. Without completion of OGRA Board, it is difficult for the authority to allow SNGPL to complete the gas supply scheme, he elaborated. However, if today the member appointed, in the same day approval will be given to SNGPL for completion of project.
But chairman of the committee Tahir Hashhadi got infuriated and question chairman OGRA why you gave assurance to the committee in last meeting to resolve the issue and complete the project soon. Why the bureaucracy could not follow the instruction/suggestion of parliamentarians, he questioned. There is no supreme authority than the PM, who already gave approval but why the scheme required OGRA Board approval.
Opposition leader in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan was of the view that OGRA chairman failed to honour his commitment to the committee and has breached the privilege. Therefore, the OGRA Chairman has committed serious negligence and now the committee decide the punishment for him.
However, Secretary ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Abid Saeed told the committee that there are some legal requirements of completing OGRA Board members. But the ministry of petroleum and chairman OGRA will find out solution of the matter. He said the ministry will prepare a Reference to OGRA to allow the SNGPL to complete the gas supply scheme in Lower Dir and other areas through the recommendation of the committee. He assured the committee that the matters will be resolve within two weeks time. The committee deferred the privilege motion till resolving the matter.
The committee also take up the privilege motion moved by Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel against the Additional Executive Officer Cantonment Board Peshawar. He told the committee that he has spend Rs56 million in cantonment areas of Peshawar over construction of streets, school building, school and hospital construction but when asked the detail of spending from the cantonment board they denied giving any details.
Director General Military Land and Cantonment on behalf of the concerned officials tendered apology and told the committee that all details of spending already provided and more will be given if demand for.

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