A commission of inquiry formed in July this year to probe into a sudden shortage of petrol in the country has revealed that OGRA has been taken up on top of the list of the mess that abounds in the oil industry pertains to OGRA and related law/rules.
This was revealed in a report of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) led inquiry panel.
The commission has submitted its report to Prime Minister Imran Khan who has asked the relevant officials to present it before the federal cabinet in its meeting to be held today.
The report available with ProPakistani has stated that the Oil industry would have been better off had there been no OGRA. The report noted that OGRA took 14 years to formulate its rules Pakistan Oil Rules 2016. It was never in a position to execute and enforce these rules and constantly shunned away from the responsibility that had been bestowed upon OGRA.
It added that the role of this white elephant was not more than a silent spectator before or during the crisis of a shortage of petroleum products.
Catalog of failures of OGRA since 2002 includes
- Dishing out licenses (25 in the last 14 years while 32 waits in line) to OMCs without ensuring actual enhancement of storage facilities
- Zero inspections of relative adherence to minimum stock requirements by OMCs
- The imposition of ritual fines on OMCs for drying out their retail outlets during the month of June 2020.
- Issuance of unlawful marketing licenses to OMCs
- No punitive action on legal joint ventures or hospitalities between OMCs
- No revocation or suspension of the license of even a single delinquent OMC
- No mechanism to ensure lifting of the local quota of petroleum products by OMCs
- No checks on operations of unlawful private storage companies
The report stated that such proliferation of licenses has upped the scale of malpractices including smuggling and adulteration. With virtually no effective check by OGRA, it would take a Herculean task to bring the situation to any semblance of normalcy.
The Commission is of the considered opinion that the formation of a regulatory body like OGRA, perhaps in line with modern markets of developed countries, was not aligned with the ground realities of Pakistan.
As such the inquiry commission recommends dissolution of OGRA through an act of parliament within the next six months.