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Five people involved in petroleum crisis arrested, FIA tells CCOE


ISLAMABAD – Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has informed the CCOE that five persons have been arrested in connection with the June 2020 petroleum crises in the country, and some of the accused have obtained interim bails while the process of freezing their accounts is underway.

The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE), which met under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar here on Thursday, was briefed by FIA on the latest updates of the investigation in petroleum crisis. 

The country had faced petrol shortage in June 2020, when the oil prices touched its lowest level. The inquiry/investigation of the oil crisis was handed over to FIA by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) presented the finding report on the status of inquiry/investigation on petroleum crisis to the CCOE. It was informed that petroleum marketing companies set up more illegal petrol pumps across the country than OGRA approved petrol pumps. FIA Lahore arrested the CEO Fossil Energy Nadeem Butt, OGRA Ex- Member Gas Amir Naseem, Member Oil Abdullah Malik and DG Oil of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Shafiullah Afridi, and Assistant Director Oil Imran Abro. 

The 4 days’ physical remand of the 5 accused was obtained on 31 October and now all the accused have been sent to judicial lock-up (jail). Some of the accused have obtained interim bails while the process of freezing their accounts is underway. The accused are accused of colluding with illegal petroleum marketing licenses, illegal petroleum import quotas, and buying and selling of illegal petroleum imports, causing billions of rupees in losses to the national exchequer and money laundering of billions of rupees earned from it.

Further 10 Oil Marketing Companies have gone in writ petitions and Intra Court Appeals & in some cases the FIA has been restrained till 29 November (next date of hearing) The Petroleum Division presented a summary for the approval of the Development Plan for the Pakistan oil and gas sector. The main objective of the plan is to assist the Energy Working Group of China –Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for Pakistan in finalizing its investment for the development of the oil and gas sector of Pakistan, by providing a comprehensive database of information on Pakistan’s energy profile, forecast and various planned and agreed energy projects. The committee directed Petroleum Division to define specific policy interventions within 30 days and present them to the CCoE.

CCOE approved the summary of the Transmission System Constraints Removal Plan presented by the Power Division.  It was informed that the peak transmission capacity of the national grid system in July 2018 was 20,811 MW, and in August 2021 it was 24, 564 MW. In 2023, the transmission capacity will be increased up to 33,500 MW. CCoE appreciated the work done by Power Division and directed that in order to implement the ambitious plan the Power Division should keep a track of the developments. The chair said that once the constraints are removed not only unmet demand will be served in the country but merit order exceptions will also reduce. 

The meeting was attended by Minister for Energy, Minister for Maritime Affairs, Advisor to PM on Commerce & Industries, chairman OGRA, Chairman NEPRA, representatives of regulatory authorities and senior officials of Ministries/Divisions.

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