Planning Minister Asad Umar has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked Special Assistant on Petroleum Nadeem Babar to step down over the petroleum crisis that gripped the country in June 2020.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, the minister also said that the government has also decided to remove the secretary of the Petroleum Division, Mian Asad Hayatuddin. “The secretary will be asked to report to the Establishment Division once his replacement is finalised,” the planning minister said.

He further said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will conduct the forensic audit of the crisis and submit a report to the PM within three months. In the light of the FIA report, the government will prosecute the suspects involved in the petrol shortage.

According to the federal minister, the FIA will investigate whether the oil companies fulfilled the legal requirements of keeping a minimum inventory; possible discrepancies between the actual and reported numbers; and identify the element who hoarded the utility.

Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, who flanked Asad Umar at the presser, said that the special assistant and secretary were asked to step down to ensure an independent inquiry into the crisis.

The PM had formed a ministerial committee after the submission of an inquiry report by the Petroleum Division over the June shortage.

In June, Pakistan faced the shortage after some oil marketing companies failed to order imports and scaled down the supply of local production from refineries in anticipation of a reduction in prices to prevent inventory losses. The decision of the oil companies caused a shortage of petrol in the country.


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