Feb 17, 2022: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 on Thursday smoothly sailed through Senate and passed unanimously in absence of the opposition.
Both the bills were piloted by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan in the House.
The House witnessed heated debate on both the bills from both the treasury and opposition benches. Earlier, the Chairman Senate deferred both the bills.
Speaking in the House, Ali Muhammad Khan said the bills were unanimously passed by the Standing Committee after in-depth discussion by all members.
He said the Council of Common Interest (CCI) had also already passed the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022. Responding to the concerns raised by the opposition, the minister ensured that the government would consider the amendments proposed by them.
Minister for Science and Technology Syed Shibli Faraz said the opposition should not distort the facts. The bill aimed at empowering the regulatory authority. He assured that the amendments proposed by the opposition would be considered on merit.
Earlier, Senators Mushtaq Ahmed, Raza Rabbani, Sherry Rehman, Azam Nazir Tarar and Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani said the provinces should be taken on board on the bills and the constitution should not be bypassed.
They were of the views that the opposition was ready to cooperate with the treasury benches, if the government brought people-friendly legislation.
Ali Muhammad Khan assured the House that the government could not think to bypass or violate the constitution. The government fully believed in the supremacy of the constitution, he added.
Speaking in the House, leader of the House, Dr Shahzad Waseem said the bills were passed unanimously by the standing committee after due process. Members of both opposition and treasury benches were part of the standing committees, he added.
He said two ministers had already given assurance that the opposition amendments would be considered and there were also doors open for amendments. He requested the House to pass the bills today.
However, the opposition staged walked out of the House.
The statement of objects and Reasons of The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022 said that the purpose of the amendments was to ensure natural gas pricing on regular basis.
The OGRA through these amendments shall eliminate gaps between regular, semi-annual tariff determination and notification.
Similarly, the statement of objects and reasons of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Second Amendment) Bill, said that the bill aimed at bringing entire Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Re-gasified Natural Gas (RLNG) licensing and price, under regulatory framework. This will also empower OGRA to determine and notify the RLNG sale price.