ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Thursday gave a go ahead to resuming of petroleum exploration activities in the country. It also green-lighted transit trade with Tajikistan and received the “post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA)” report on the devastating floods.
The cabinet approved the restoration of 11 petroleum exploration licenses on the recommendation of the Petroleum Division. The decision will pave the way for exploration activities in the country.
Media reports claimed that the government had decided to revive the revoked licenses as an out-of-court settlement. However, under the rules, government can grant exclusive licenses for petroleum exploration for a period of five years through the competitive bidding process.
The licenses were revoked due to non-fulfilment of work and non-payment of financial obligations. The Islamabad and Sindh high courts passed the order for all the 11 blocks.
However, the litigant companies approached the government and expressed interest in exploration of the blocks awarded. The petroleum ministry submitted the summary of the companies work in the revoked blocks
According to the PM Office, the planning ministry presented the PDNA report in the context of 2022 floods.
The planning ministry prepared the report in collaboration with IFIs, EU, UN, provincial governments, Gilgit-Baltistan, AJK, civil society and academia.
PM Sharif issued directives for completion of the “resilient, recovery, renovation and rehabilitation plan” as soon as possible.
The cabinet approved the signing of the transit trade agreement between Pakistan and Tajikistan on the recommendation of the commerce ministry.
Earlier, the PM appealed to philanthropists to support the government’s efforts by replicating the building of houses for flood victims.
Mr Sharif handed over keys of 100 residential units to flood victims comprising two rooms, a kitchenette and a toilet to the relief of displaced people.