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No progress in Saudi $8bn investment: Additional petroleum secretary

The $8 billion Saudi Arabian investment in Pakistan had not progressed further, the additional petroleum secretary informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday.

PSO had Rs87.4 billion receivable from various institutions, audit officials informed the PAC. According to the details provided, PSO owes Rs41.8 billion to Wapda, Rs25 billion to Hub Power Company, Rs16.6 billion to Kot Addu Power Company and Rs4 billion to PIA. It was also told by the audit officials that due to unpaid Rs36 billion, audit was postponed.

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The secretary informed the PAC that the sector’s circular debt had reached Rs2.6 trillion and that it had increased by Rs1.6 trillion during the last four years.

According to the additional secretary of petroleum, Saudi Arabia intended to set up oil refineries at Hub and Gwadar but because of a lack of oil refinery policy, the plan could not proceed further. He also told that it required two more months for other requirements including approval of the cabinet.

The additional secretary also told that due to the lack of capacity of oil refining, 70 percent of petrol and diesel were imported; adding that crude oil was available from Saudi Arabia on deferred payments.

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PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan said that the quality of petroleum products at Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was very poor. The briefing was told that the salary of MD of PSO was Rs3.2 million but after deduction of taxes, he received Rs2.2mn. Khan also informed that the basic salary of MD PSO was Rs1.6 million.

The chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) told the PAC that he had no idea about the increase in prices of petroleum products because of the implementation of the levy next month.



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