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Gas cylinder saga involves JD5 million loss — MP

By JT - Feb 12,2014 - Last updated at Feb 12,2014

AMMAN — The money paid to purchase 250,000 gas cylinders from India cannot be refunded even if the controversial shipment is proved not to comply with local standards, Deputy Motaz Abu Rumman said on Wednesday.

Abu Rumman, rapporteur of the Lower House Integrity and Transparency Committee, was quoted by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, as saying that the Indian manufacturer claims that the gas cylinders meet local technical standards, which means that “JD5 million will be lost if we end up destroying the shipment.”

The deputy said the committee is still investigating the case and is scheduled to meet with the Royal Scientific Society engineers who conducted the preliminary tests on the shipment, Petra reported.

The gas cylinders have been a hot topic in the local media as the director general of the Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology (JISM), Haydar Al Zaben, has reportedly said they do not meet local standards.

During the House panel’s meeting on Monday, attended by Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company (JPRC) CEO Abdel Karim Alawin, MP Mustafa Rawashdeh underlined the “sensitivity” of the issue as it is related to citizens’ lives, stressing that “no product should enter the local market without passing required tests.”

Alawin said the consignment was imported upon a tender floated to cover local market needs, adding that four companies had submitted bids and the Indian company was selected for offering the least cost, Petra reported.

“The company was tentatively chosen until it passed the final test results,” he said, noting that the shipment will not enter the market if it does not meet local standards.

Alawin underlined that the JPRC does not have the authority to approve or deny the entry of the shipment; only the government does.

He added that the government has formed a committee comprising the head of the Lower House Energy Committee, the president of the Gas Stations Owners Association, the JISM director, the dean of the University of Jordan’s engineering faculty and the director of the Energy Ministry’s oil derivatives department to supervise the laboratory tests on the samples from the shipment conducted by a German firm.

The entry of the Indian gas cylinders to the local market will be based on the results of the technical test conducted by the German lab, which is accredited by the European Union and JISM, Alawin noted.

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