Serious disagreements between cabinet members have led to problems at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has been informed about the current rift, reports The News.
Important facts were brought to light in Geo News Programme, ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’. According to reports, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum is worried about the interference of Asad Umar and Ali Zaidi.
Asad Umar, Minister of Planning Commission and Special Initiatives heads the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE), and Ali Zaidi, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, is its member.
Reportedly, Special Assistant to PM Khan Tabish Gauhar has lodged a complaint with the premier, pleading that the two cabinet members were interfering in the affairs of the Ministry of Energy.
Sources say that Hammad and Tabish are in favour of using the full capacity of the existing terminals. However, they are being pressured in the cabinet to sign the Sui South gas pipeline agreement with the new terminals rather than the old Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals.
Asad Umar gave a tough time to the Energy Ministry for arranging LNG at a higher cost and for the dry docking of the Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) at the Engro Terminal.
The decisions forced the country to face a gas-electricity crisis, subjected the government to the wrath of the Opposition, and triggered a backlash from the masses.
In the CCOE meeting, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, along with Umar and Zaidi, objected to the delayed dry-docking from June 29 to July 5 and why it wasn’t done earlier in 2019. Tarin wanted an inquiry in this regard and ordered Railway Minister Azam Swati to lead the inquiry. Sources have revealed that Tabish was trying to put an end to the inquiry.
However, Gauhar is currently not attending the CCOE meetings. Sources said that despite protests from Gauhar, the inquiry will go ahead since it is part of the written procedures of the CCOE and has been ratified by the federal government.