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OGDCL, PPL spend Rs 9.7b on welfare schemes

OGDCL, PPL spend Rs 9.7b on welfare schemes

ISLAMABAD: Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) have spent over Rs 9.7 billion on social welfare schemes in respective operational areas during the last six years.

“Although, there is no provision in Petroleum Concession Agreements, policies and rules that E&P companies will spend a specified amount of income on development of their operational areas, but OGDCL and PPL have spent an amount of Rs 4,928 million and 4,784 million respectively during the period from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2017 on social welfare schemes,” official sources told APP Thursday.

Answering a question, they said the government had recovered outstanding payments amounting to Rs 4.7 billion from different oil and gas Exploration and Production (E&P) companies on account of production bonus, social welfare funds and marine research fee during the last four years.

In a bid to restore confidence of locals in exploration activity areas, the Petroleum division recovered Rs 1639.23 million production bonus, Rs 1988.25 million social welfare funds and Rs 1100.51 million marine research fee from the E&P companies.

“An amount of Rs 4727.99 million has been recovered and deposited in accounts of concerned DCOs of oil and gas producing districts for carrying out welfare schemes for locals,” they said. Facilities like health, education, water supply, improved drainage and sewerage system are provided to locals in oil and gas producing Tehsils and Districts across the country, the sources said.

The Division has recently revised the social welfare guidelines, under which welfare schemes would be based on the requirement of areas and identified by concerned MNAs of districts in consultation with representatives of local bodies or local administration.

They informed that E&P companies would open a joint bank account with District Coordination Officers (DCOs) and Deputy Commissioners (DCs) concerned and deposit the social welfare contribution fund within one month of signing Petroleum Concession Agreement (PCA) and subsequently by January 31 every year.

“The DCOs/Dcs and E&P companies will sign cheques within a week after receiving complete requisition from the concerned agency,” they said adding that MNAs and other concerned would get input of locals in welfare schemes, make publicity of development projects and ensure their timely completion besides holding public hearings in project areas.

The sources said the companies would provide audit certificate annually from their statutory auditors that the due amount of social welfare obligation had been discharged by transferring to the joint account as per PCA and social welfare guidelines.

The sources said provincial governments would send a report in respect of completed schemes to Federal and Provincial Ombudsmen and the Human Rights Cell of Supreme Court twice in a year – by end of July and January each year.

On completion of the work, a prescribed ‘completion certificate’ would be issued by concerned DCOs/Dcs within 30 days, while annual progress report of the previous calendar would be forwarded to the Ministry by March 31.