PSO clarifies its position with regards to ongoing rumours

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KARACHI: Clarifying its position on recent rumours circulating in some quarters of the local media surrounding Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the nation’s flagship Oil Marketing Company (OMC) maintains that all such news are utterly ill-founded and are damaging its hard-earned repute.

With regards to the misleading news about the alleged plans of PSO’s senior management to flee the country in view of an impending LNG-related probe, PSO makes it clear that the company’s senior management, including the MD and CEO, is very much in Pakistan and performing his day-to-day duties. As for the news regarding the leave application of PSO’s MD, the company clarifies that the said leave was requested by him to be with his family on the occasion of Eid and not for obtaining an NOC to go abroad. Also, all employees of PSO are entitled to take leave as per the rules and regulations of the company, and in utilising this leave; many of them may choose to travel abroad as well.

Responding to the issue of recent demurrages, PSO maintains that the Ministry of Energy, Power Division, raises demand for PSO to arrange cargoes. With reference to demurrages occurred on cargoes in last year, PSO says it was due to the overstated demand raised by the Power Division and PSO does not import any quantity of furnace oil on its own.

PSO further says that last year it received the quarterly demand from the Ministry based on which the cargoes of Furnace Oil (FO) were arranged.

However, consumption remained lower than the demand raised by the ministry, resulting in bunching of vessels at the port causing demurrages.

PSO maintains that the same may happen this year due to many issues including congestion at ports since Pakistan’s infrastructure has not been developed to meet the soaring demands that have risen manifold.

According to PSO, the ECC had approved the import of FO through the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) on FOB basis in 2012. PSO, over the last 2 years, had been negotiating with the PNSC to change the COA terms but after reaching no conclusion, the MoE was requested in January this year to seek approval of ECC to allow C&F imports. PSO says it is pertinent to note that because of the measures placed, no off-spec product has been offloaded over the last 30 months.

There is another important aspect which is being maliciously linked with PSO’s stringent recruitment process. Investigative agencies are wrongly linking hiring of few senior employees of PSO with the appointment of Ahad Cheema in the company’ s  Board of Management by the Government of Pakistan

PSO has clarified previously that Cheema remained a member of the Board of Management from October 05, 2017 to February 21, 2018. No hiring as such took place at the General Manager or above level during Cheema’s time at the PSO’s Board of Management.

PSO would like to add that the hiring process of the company is based on a multilayer procedure that ensures transparency at all levels and where no individual can influence the processes.

Therefore, linking the hiring of three General Managers and One Senior General Manager with Cheema is not more than a myth. The fact of the matter is that all senior managers hired more than a year before Cheema’s appointment to the PSO Board of Management.  Necessary details of their appointments have already been provided to the concerned authorities upon their request.

About the company’s cooperation with the investigative bodies concerning some ongoing inquiries, PSO says it has been extending the fullest cooperation to all investigative agencies, including the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the same way as the DG Oil, the PNSC, and other stakeholders have.

PSO is a responsible corporate citizen known to take decisions in support of the nation. It has been at the forefront of helping the nation deal with major crises including artificial fuel shortages by the private OMCs in the recent past, and supporting the countrymen of Pakistan by arranging necessary fuel required to generate electricity in the country after having requisite directions as well as assuring the continuity of the complete fuel supply chain in the country.