E&P companies deposited $2.5mln under social welfare fund

ISLAMABAD, Dec 3 (APP): Oil and Gas companies operating in
different parts of the country have deposited around $2.544 million under the social welfare fund during the last three years.
“Exploration and Production (E&P) companies are required to deposit
social welfare fund in the joint account with Deputy Commissioners,
maintained in concerned districts,” official sources in the Ministry of
Petroleum and Natural Resources told APP.
They said around $ 2.544 million had been collected in last three
years,which were judiciously utilized for well being of the local residing in oil and gas producing districts.
Answering a question, the sources informed that currently the Ministry
of Petroleum and Natural Resources was revising social welfare guidelines for carrying out the development schemes in oil and gas producing Tehsils and Districts across the country.
Under the new strategy parliamentarians were being given important
role in identification and execution of social welfare schemes of oil and gas E&P companies operating in their respective constitutencies.
“Under the revised guidelines, social welfare schemes will be based
on the requirement of areas and identified by concerned MNAs of districts in consultation with representatives of local bodies or local administration,”they said.
Facilities like health, education, water supply, improved drainage
and sewerage system would be the key features of welfare projects, they said and added that practice of cash donations to patients would be discouraged to end reported complaints of malpractice.
They informed that E&P companies would open a joint bank account
with District Coordination Officers (DCOs) and Deputy Commissioners (DCs) concerned and deposit the social welfare contribution fund within one month of signing Petroleum Concession Agreement (PCA) and subsequenty by January 31 every year.
“DCOs/DCs and E&P companies will sign cheques within a week
after receving complete requisition from the concerned agency,” they said adding that MNAs and other concerned would get input of locals in welfare schemes, make publicity of development projects and ensure their timely completion besides holding public hearings in project areas.
They said the companies would provide audit certificates annually
from their statutory auditors that the due amount of social welfare obigation had been discharged by tranferring to the joint account as per PCA and social welfare guidelines.
The sources said provincial governments would send a report in
respect of completed schemes to Federal and Provincial Ombudsmen and the Human Rights Cell of Supreme Court twice in a year by end of July and Janaury each year.
On completion of the work, a prescribed ‘completion certificate’ would be issued by concerned DCOs/DCs within 30 days, while annual
progress report of the previous calendar would be forwarded to the
Ministry by March 31.