The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has upheld its directive of imposition of Rs 400,000 penalty on Attock Petroleum Limited (APL) over violation of rules and regulations for oil and gas sector. In order to check the petroleum activities in the field, the OGRA conducts surprise inspections from time to time. During one of its inspections, an abnormal dispatch of POL product to one dealer of APL was observed which was further investigated.
On the basis of difference observed in total purchase and nozzle sale, the APL was issued a show cause notice to explain the difference. The company submitted its reply challenging the allegations. Subsequently, the company was called upon for personal hearing.
The OGRA took analysis of the submission of the company in its reply to the show cause notice and stance taken during hearing. The APL was found in violation of Petroleum Rules 1937 and terms and conditions of licence granted to the APL and fine was imposed under the OGRA laws and accordingly a speaking order was issued by the OGRA. The APL being aggrieved of the decision of imposition of penalty of Rs 400,000 by enforcement department filed an appeal. The appeal was fixed for hearing before the authority on March 21, 2016 and notice of hearing was accordingly issued. However, the APL neither appeared nor sent any request for adjournment of the hearing.
The incumbent chairperson OGRA took serious note of the case in May 2017. In a directive, she said that this is extremely disappointing that such an important case has been kept pending on one pretext or the other for a period of two years. It shows a complete inertia on the part of enforcement and finance departments of the OGRA.
The hearing of the case by the authority was held on June 14, 2017 and the decision of the authority shall be issued shortly. It is not the first time that the OGRA imposed penalty on the APL. Earlier, in June 2016, the authority had charge-sheeted the APL with penalty of Rs 3.3 million for restricting on further development of retail outlets in Sindh. The regulator got aggressive over violation of its directives to top up the oil stocks up to the optimum level to avert any untoward situation that was feared to be risen out in the wake of high intensity monsoon as predicted by the Meteorological Department.