ISLAMABAD - AHMAD AHMADANI - In an apparent bid to hush up the ‘mega corruption’ done in fuel procurement deal by making mockery and violation of prescribed rules, the decision makers at PSO dance hand in glove with their political patrons who have succeeded in revising the composition of Board of Directors (BoD) of the company.

Sources aware of the matter informed that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has approved to revise the BoD composition of Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSOCL) on sudden requests of the political forces protecting a trading company and top guns at the state owned oil giant apparently to get rid from those board members, which had unearthed mega corruption allegedly done in a ‘controversial’ locally blended fuel oil procurement agreement, which was secretly signed on a holiday (19th May, original agreement available with TheNation) by top gun of Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSOCL). Top management ostensibly desperate to hide the notorious tale of corruption has now been found successful in luring the baboos at the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources (MP&NR) to get the Premier’s nod to replace two members of PSO board of directors who raised this issue in Board Audit Committee and were part of the enquiry committee against that deal, sources added.

Official letter No. 5(6)/2008-Gas of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources dated 30th October available with The Nation further disclosed that revision in the composition of PSO Board of Directors (BoD) had been done on 30th October, 2012. Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Hammayun Jogezai have been removed from company’s BOM as Sarfraz Bugti and Ikhtiar Baig have been now included in the composition of BoD of PSO. 

The Board Audit Committee (BAC) of PSO had earlier unearthed that the agreement inked by top baboo at PSO with M/s Bakri Trading Company Pakistan Limited (BTCPL) was of five years with estimated annual quantity of 1.4 million metric tons (MT) of blended oil and was made without any tenders and even not presented in the PSO Board of Management. Showing serious concerns over alleged corruption in a fuel procurement deal, the BAC had also recommended that the $5 billion contract of PSO with M/s BTCPL to buy blended oil needs to be analysed and justification of PSO management that M/s BTCPL is the only player in the oil blending business in Pakistan so PPRA rules do not apply to this deal is wrong. Again, the status of M/s BTCPL, as sole blender of oil, needs to be meticulously checked and confirmed. The BAC further recommended that in future any such agreement should be shared with BoM before finalisation.

Though the BAC of PSO decided to form a fact finding committee that would present findings to the BAC within 3 weeks and the final findings would be shared with PSO BoM for its consideration, yet the chairman Board of Management and the MD PSO had resisted formation of any fact finding committee. However, a committee comprising of Dr Abid Suleri, Hamayoon Jogezai and Nasim Lawbar was formed, sources further added.

It is worthy to note that in 2010 the state-owned oil enterprise (PSO) had informed the MPNR that it has the capacity to blend fuel oil locally to some extend and it opposed any procurement deal with M/s BTCPL.

Exclusively acquired documents of Board Audit Committee (BAC) of PSO showed that this contract was given without inviting any interested parties for this supply tender, the PSO management violated PPRA rules and was signed while exercising the powers of MD PSO as the management ostensibly assumed that top gun was authorised to sign this agreement.

As per agreement, PSO would procure 14 lakh tons of furnace oil from M/s BTCPL for five years and after completion of the said span of time the agreement would be extended with mutual consent. However, in case of war, emergency and bad law and order like situation the company would not be bounded to provide fuel oil, adding that in case of emergence of any dispute, the legal remedy would be sought only at Karachi. Furthermore, PSO and M/s BTCPL would jointly check oil quantity and quality and in case if PSO refuses to procure oil then it (PSO) will have to pay the price of oil along with losses.