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AGP Finds Ogra Chairperson Uzma Adil’s Appointment as Illegal

ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has found the appointmentof Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) chairperson Uzma Adil is inviolation of Ogra Ordinance 2002.

The AGP in its report said that the appointment of the chairperson of the oil and gas sector’s regulator was illegal and hence itshould be probed.

The report will add to the woes of Pakistan MuslimLeague-Nawaz (PML-N), which was in power from 2013-18 and the said appointment was made by its government.

The report my prompt a NAB investigation into the hiring.

Auditors noted that the appointment of Ogra Chairperson UzmaAdil violated the Ogra Ordinance 2002 and recommended that the matter should be probed.

They found that Adil had been looking after the interest of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), being its former employee, and had given undue favour while approving the company’s revenue requirement of billions of rupees.

According to clause 5(2) of the Ogra ordinance, no of Sui be appointed a member or he or she has any direct or indirect had given or any connection which might reasonably be viewed as giving rise of interest with any person involved in the regulated activity.

During the audit for the fiscal year 2016-17, it was noted that the federal government appointed Adil as Ogra chairperson in July 2016 at a salary of Rs500,000 per month. The chairperson, before joining Ogra, had served almost her entire carrier in SNGPL on positions of company chief, GM, secretary, CFO, DMD and MD.

The auditors pointed out that she was allowed to come over from SNGPL to Ogra without any gap. Ogra is SNGPL’s regulator.

Being the MD and CFO, she had recommended final revenue requirement and given proposals pertaining to unaccounted-for-gas (UFG) loss to Ogra. The same subjects came within her jurisdiction at Ogra for review. The auditors found that the final revenue requirement of SNGPL for 2015-16 and estimated revenue requirement for 2016-17 were decided in favour of the company by the chairperson.

Similarly, the focus of Ogra in previous years was on controlling SNGPL’s operating expenses, which was toned down in subsequent determinations. The auditors were of the view that the matter needed to be reviewed at the government level and clarification should also be sought from theMinistry of Law and Justice.