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Legislation urged to monitor oil, gas extraction

Participatory Development Initiative and Oxfam GB jointly organized a conference on Corporate social responsibilities (CSR) of oil and gas exploration firms and local communities on 30 March 2010 at the local hotel of Larkana. Participants of a conference have sought proper utilization of production bonuses and CSR funds of companies on development projects in the areas of their operation and urged the multi-national companies to stop paying extortion money to feudal lords in the name of CSR. The speakers included Khair Mohammad Shaikh, Larkana PPP’s vice-president and president of Larkana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mukthiar Samoo, Syed Javed Shah, and Kudrat Sundrani from Ghotki, and labor leader Khalid Chandio.

PDI program officer Ishak Soomro spoke about problems faced by the people living in oil and gas-producing areas. Giving details of gas and oil fields, the PDI Program officer said of the 122 crude oil reserves in the country, 93 were in Sindh which produced 56.36 percent of the total production of the country.

Out of 156 gas reserves, 121 were in Sindh with their annual production of 72 percent of the country’s total production, he added. Participants of the conference demanded legislation for monitoring oil and gas exploration activities of the multi-national companies and consultation with the provincial and district governments before the launching of the projects. The speakers said that oil and gas companies operating in different districts of Sindh had not only created problems for the people but were also spreading pollution and diseases. Representatives of civil society, academicians of different educational institutes, and community representatives of oil and gas producing districts from the upper Sindh region participated.