ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister Petroleum Nadeem Babar has been asked by Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign from his post.
This was disclosed by Planning Minister Asad Umar during a press conference on Friday where he discussed findings by the Federal Investigative Agency in an investigation ordered by the prime minister to ascertain the reasons behind the country’s oil shortage.
“The Secretary of the Petroleum Division (Mian Asad Hayauddin) will also be asked to report to the Establishment Division after his replacement is finished,” said Umar.
Umar, in his detailed press conference, discussed the final recommendations made by a cabinet committee formed by the prime minister to carry out an investigation.
The committee includes Umar himself, along with federal ministers Shafqat Mehmood, Azam Swati and Shireen Mazari.
Adding to Asad Umar’s point, Minister Shafqat Mehmood said that Nadeem Babar and Minister of Petroleum had been asked to resign so as not to influence the investigation.
“We forwarded our recommendations to the prime minister, after which he asked for some additional information. When there is further information, we are allowed to share our recommendations, ”said Asad Umar.
He added that in the past, the Petroleum Division usually put all the responsibility on the shoulders of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) whenever there was a question regarding a petroleum shortage.
“We have to put an end to this ambiguity,” said Asad Umar. “There is little punishment for those who hurt the economy. The mafia that works to loot people’s money, Prime Minister Imran Khan will not spare them.”
“This is a message from Prime Minister Imran Khan to the mafia that their time is up,” said the planning and development minister.
Answering the question, Asad Umar said that there is no doubt that the responsibilities given to several state institutions were not fulfilled properly.
“We have to find out why the institutions are unable to do this and determine if this is due to the prevalence of corruption,” he said, adding that it is important to find the names of people who are not doing a good job and whether they have collaborators.
‘The FIA is in charge of making crimes prosecutable’
As reported Geo.tv, cabinet recommendations are divided into three categories. According to Asad Umar, in the first category, details of the criminal act that must be registered in a criminal case are provided.
“The evidence is formulated in such a way that charges can be filed. The FIA has been ordered to conduct a forensic audit so that within 90 days prosecution efforts can begin,” said Umar.
The following are the areas that the FIA has commissioned to investigate:
– Are the legal requirements for minimum supplies being met by the oil companies?
– Are reported sales figures actual or is there a difference between what is reported on paper and what is true? Who reported this?
– Is the product stockpiled? If so, then who is responsible?
“These are all things that in the report are prima facie […] it was decided that this was indeed the case. So I just said that the evidence must be given a form so that it can be prosecuted in court, “explained Umar.
He also spoke of certain flaws in the system, which also saw violations of the law, for example, undue profits being taken from temporary marketing licenses, illegal hospitality agreements where products would be stored, and sale of products in illegal outlets.
The minister also spoke of the main accusation in the report regarding delays in docking of oil vessels so that when new tariffs are notified, the products can be sold at a higher price. “Forensic investigations and guidance in this case also need to be carried out to ascertain who is responsible,” said Umar.
He said illegal sales would also be covered by a forensic audit.
“Actions are not limited to fines. It will be done so that people are handcuffed and sent to prison.”
Furthermore, the minister said, although oil retailers and gas stations will be the target of forensic audits, it must be investigated which government officials facilitated the crime.
“The Petroleum Division will be investigated, as well as OGRA (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority), Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Port Authority,” for all these illegal acts, Umar said.