Govt considering revising upwards pay of OGRA chief, members

ISLAMABAD: The government is likely to increase pay packages of the chairman and members of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), which keeps a close watch on the oil and gas industry in the country.

In a bid to implement the plan of increasing staff remunerations, the cabinet has directed the Ministry of Finance to undertake a study in order to compare salary packages of different regulators with those prevailing in the private sector.

Keeping the study in view, the pay packages of Ogra members and chairman will be rationalised. In a meeting held on July 13, the cabinet noted that salaries in the private-sector oil and gas industry stood quite high and the government also needed to offer competitive remuneration packages to attract highly efficient and professional human resources.

It also noted that the government’s Management Position (MP) pay scales, despite a significant upward revision a few days ago, were quite low when compared with market rates.

While agreeing to the observations, the cabinet members said the Finance Division may offer the recently revised MP pay scales to member oil of Ogra. Still, they said, a separate study should be conducted by the Finance Division to compare the pay of different regulators with the market. After completing the exercise, the division will present its recommendations to the cabinet.

The cabinet was informed that the prime minister desired that the proposal of determining the remuneration package of Ogra’s member oil should be placed before the cabinet for approval.

The cabinet proposed the grant of maximum pay scale following the revision as well as annual evaluation and submission of a report about performance of the member oil to the prime minister.

The federal government has appointed Abdulla Malik as member oil of Ogra. Under Section 5 of the Ogra Ordinance, the government determines the remuneration package of Ogra members and its chairman and members are currently being paid perks and privileges of MP-1 and MP-II scales respectively.

Ogra has several executive directors whose salary packages range from Rs0.5 million to Rs1 million per month. However, its members are receiving around Rs0.4 million per month, which is even lower than the pay being drawn by executive members of the regulator.

Cabinet members insisted that it was necessary that good human resources were brought in the regulator, which could be possible by offering attractive pay packages to them. The oil and gas industry in the private sector is offering higher salary packages to professionals, prompting staff in technical wings of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to quit and join companies in the private sector in order to receive attractive remunerations.

In the wake staff shortage, all technical wings of the ministry are being run by officials of different public sector oil and gas companies.

(Source: Express Tribune)