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December 1, 2018

Govt to shake up state oil, gas firms boards in 100 days

Business

December 1, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to reconstitute the boards of directors (BoDs) of state-run oil and gas companies on top of changing their chairmen and CEOs in the next 100 days, in a bid to purge them of politically motivated appointments, a minister said on Friday.

“There are 14 companies under the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) that are registered under the companies Act. The previous government reconstituted their boards in 2017 and those appointments were political,” Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Minister for Energy (Petroleum Division), told a news conference.

Of these companies, five are the listed companies while nine are non-listed companies.

Khan said the government has reconstituted the boards of six companies including Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO), Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Government Holding (Private) Limited (GHPL), Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC), and Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL).

The minister said new members had been appointed on these companies’ boards and they would now elect their chairmen, while posts of CEOs of these companies would be advertised soon.

“In next 100 days, we would reconstitution the boards of remaining eight companies and they would also get new chairmen and CEOs. There would be no political interference in their appointments and would be purely professional,” he said adding that the board members would take care of this whole process.

Khan further said the losses of the Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) were standing at 11 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

“One percent increase in the losses in absolute term is around Rs4 billion for both the utilities. The companies currently have cumulative losses of Rs152 billion which also include gas theft,” the minister added.

Regarding recent gas price increase, he said, they had increased gas charges sizably for the elite consumers like those sitting in Jati Umra; however for first three slabs (small consumers that constitute 80pc of total) the government had increased gas prices by 10-20pc.

“Besides, gas charges for industrial sector, the CNG stations and commercial consumers have been increased,” the minister said.

He said the government had reduced the GST on LPG by 7 percentage points from earlier 17pc, due to which the LPG cylinder price in the open market came down to around Rs1400 from earlier Rs1800/cylinder.

Khan further said the system gas LNG would be also supplied to zero-rated industries including textiles, jute, carpets, surgical equipment, and sports goods of export quality for the next three months to boost exports and generate jobs.

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