Low gas pressure issue to be resolved from Feb 14: NA body told
National Assembly was assured Thursday of an action against those involved in sale and purchase of sub-standard stunts as well as ensuring availability of quality product in the market.
Parliamentary Secretary for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha informed the House that action was taken against different hospitals for sale and purchase and use of such stunts.
He said an exercise was conducted at different hospitals and after finding a couple of Peshawar hospitals, one in federal capital and one in Lahore, the government had taken action against the doctors and officials of Drug Regulatory Authority.
He said during such visits not only the sub-standard stunts were confiscated but also the officials and employees who were involved in this illegal activity were identified for action.
The Parliamentary Secretary said there were around 55 stunt manufacturers whose 25 to 60 products were available in the market. But, he maintained some unregistered manufacturer also introduced their product in the market and the doctors and officials recommended their stunts because of hefty commissions.
He said this was an illegal practice and the government would take every possible action to bring them to justice as he also mentioned to constitution of Task Force in Punjab to curb this illegal practice, identified those responsible and take action against them.
National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources was informed on Thursday that the government had completed the augmentation of Karachi-Lahore gas transmission line and it would be fully operational from February 14, ending the issue of low gas pressure.
The committee meeting, chaired by Chaudhry Bilal Ahmed Virk, was apprised that currently test transmission of the 42-inch diameter pipeline was in progress and it would be fully operational by mid of the current month.
“The upgraded pipeline will help end the issue of low gas pressure,” Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Arshad Mirza told the body.
Managing Director of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) Zahid Mir briefed the meeting that the company, in a period of four year from 2010-11 to 2014-15, had allocated Rs 26,235 million for Workers Profit Participation Fund (WPPF), disbursed Rs 1,631 million among workers and transferred Rs 24,604 million transferred to workers welfare fund.
Answering a question, he said the company made Rs 238 million cash disbursement to third party workers in a period of one month, stunning the committee members.
“How it is possible to make such a huge payment in cash, especially when under the rules the company was not authorized to make cash payment exceeding Rs 5,000 per worker,” he observed. The committee was informed that Rs 98 million and Rs 238 million were paid in cash to employees of OGDCL in years 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively by the office bearers of OGDCL Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) for which record was not available with the company.
The committee directed OGDCL management to hold an internal inquiry and identify persons who received the money for its subsequent disbursement to the employees.
The MD apprised committee that an inquiry was conducted by FIA in year 2010 on a complaint initiated by 3rd party employees regarding disbursement of WPPF Funds who had either received less payment or the payments were made to non-entitled employees, however, the inquiry was closed by the FIA due to non-availability of concrete evidence.
The committee directed FIA to reopen the cash payment inquiry and asked OGDCL to formally lodge a complaint in this regard and provide requisite information to investigation agency. While expressing its displeasure on the disclosure of spending of huge amounts on medical treatment of OGDCL employees, directed OGDCL management to hold an inquiry against the employees involved in misuse of medical facility at different stations of OGDCL.
The body also directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to assist OGDCL in recovery of embezzled and misused medical funds by employees and medical facilities on the panel of OGDCL. The committee was informed that Rs 890 million were incurred on medical treatment of employees during last five years.
Taking cognizance of the massive expenditure on medical treatment, an inquiry was conducted which identified involvement of 77 employees in misusing of medical facility at head office and field establishments.—APP