Islamabad - A lobby in the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) using delaying tactics in shifting the gas company office from Lahore to the Federal capital.

There are two kind of lobbies one making allowances by frequent visits to the federal capital and the second is the one who simply does not want to relocate the head office from the Punjab’s capital to the Islamabad, official source told The Nation.

The officials associated with these lobbies are making lame excuses such as there is no space available in the capital or majority of consumers of the company are located in Punjab etc, the source added.

There is enough space available in the federal capital, the source said. The SNGPL has two regional offices in Lahore and they can easily manage their consumers from those locations, the source added.

The government had last month decided shifting of the gas utility head office from Lahore to Islamabad and had asked SNGPL to look for the suitable location for its office in the Federal capital.

For the last around six years, the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been demanding the relocating of the SNGPL headquarters from Lahore to Islamabad.

Islamabad is convenient for both the regions and it will make the interaction easy with the company

In early 2014, during the then minister for petroleum Khaqan Abbasi’s visit to Peshawar, the provincial government of KP had raised the issue of shifting of the headquarters, the source elaborated.

Similarly in December 2018 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly unanimously passed a resolution demanding the shifting of the headquarters of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) from Lahore to Islamabad to make it accessible to the people of the maximum producing province of the country.

It doesn’t make any sense that a utility that is providing service to two different regions and its head office is located at the edge of one region, said the source. KP has no control over the SNGPL as it is entirely controlled by Punjab, the source maintained.

Islamabad is convenient from both the regions and it will make the interaction easy with the company, the source argued. It’s too hard for the officials in Peshawar to travel all the way down to Lahore, the source said.

Besides, the Managing Director, General Managers, CFO and other high officials of the SNGPL posted at Lahore office require frequent travelling to Islamabad, the source said.

The shifting of the SNGPL headquarters will save time and reduce the cost of travelling, the source maintained. The source said that the number of KP domiciled people are far less than its share in the head office.

The source said that high officials of the SNGPL are visiting and staying in the federal capital around three to four days weekly. The allowances of these employees is costing millions annually to the consumers, the source added.

Besides the frequent visit of these officials is also effecting the work of these officials as they can hardly spend two days in the headquarters, the source added. “We have several time asked the high officials of the both SNGPL and SSGC that to save time and resources they should interact with the petroleum division and committees through video link but they would not hear, the source said.

The government is required to shift the SSGC head office to Islamabad as well, the source recommended. It is pertinent to mention here that SNGPL provide gas to Punjab, Islamabad and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.