MNAs being given role in E&P companies’ social welfare schemes

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 26 (APP): Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) are being given important role in identification and execution of social welfare schemes of oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies operating in their respective constituencies.

Currently, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources is revising social welfare guidelines for carrying out the development schemes in oil and gas producing Tehsils and Districts across the country.

“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,” official sources told APP.

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 subsequently by January 31 every year.

“DCOs/DCs and E&P companies will sign cheques within a week after receiving 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 certificate annually from their statutory auditors that the due amount of social welfare obigation had been discharged by transferring 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 January 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.