SC or­ders for keep­ing CNG prices in­tact till Nov 19

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -


Supreme Court (SC) has or­dered for keep­ing the prices of CNG in­tact till next hear­ing on Novem­ber, 19.

A 2-mem­ber SC bench led by Chief Jus­tice of Pak­istan (CJP) Iftikhar Muham­mad Chaudhry is­sued these or­ders dur­ing the course of hear­ing of pe­ti­tions with re­spect to pe­tro­leum prod­ucts prices here Thurs­day.

The court took notice of a state­ment from for­mer pe­tro­leum min­is­ter Dr Asim Hus­sain and sought clar­i­fi­ca­tion from sec­re­tary pe­tro­leum in this re­spect. Dr Asim had given state­ment that pe­tro­leum mafia had de­ferred pe­tro­leum pol­icy un­der the court’s or­ders.

Sec­re­tary pe­tro­leum told the court case re­gard­ing pe­tro­leum levy was pend­ing hear­ing with Lahore High Court (LHC) and the court had is­sued stay or­der one year ear­lier.

CJP re­marked the court was crit­i­cized un­der garb of pe­tro­leum pol­icy. The con­cerned court be ap­proached for early hear­ing, he added. De­ter­min­ing the prices is job of Ogra and not the court, he fur­ther re­marked.

Jus­tice Jawwad S Khawaja ob­served OGRA func­tion was not to play the role of a sub­servient. It seemed as if the gov­ern­ment not only formed car­tels but also they were fa­vored. CNG As­so­ci­a­tion is a car­tel and gov­ern­ment is ink­ing agree­ments with it, he added.

The plea for be­com­ing party in the case by CNG As­so­ci­a­tion was ac­cepted dur­ing the hear­ing. Hafiz Pirzada ap­peared on be­half of the as­so­ci­a­tion.

Ab­dul Hafiz prayed the court to al­low him two weeks time to file com­pre­hen­sive re­ply. The court re­marked that it wanted gov­ern­ment should work and as­sert its author­ity. Gov­ern­ment can not slap those taxes for which no ap­proval has been given to it and do­ing so is ex­ploita­tion to some ex­tent, court added.

Peo­ple are ag­i­tat­ing daily on the roads and if gas sup­ply sur­passes gas de­mand then why load shed­ding is be­ing done, court in­quired. CNG hol­i­day is in place to­day as well in Karachi. The court be in­formed about all the de­tails, court added.

CJP re­marked pe­tro­leum min­istry should take into ac­count the ba­sic con­sti­tu­tional rights. This mat­ter in­volves rights and in­ter­est of mil­lion of peo­ple. Ogra has to sat­isfy the court now so that no ex­ploita­tion of the con­sumers takes place.

Jus­tice Jawwad S Khawaja ob­served OGRA would have to com­ply with sec­tions 7,8 and 9 of its law and tar­iff rules. OGRA has to play the role of watch­dog for the rights of con­sumers. It is not role of OGRA to serve as sub­or­di­nate to gov­ern­ment. It seemed as if OGRA was not a watch dog but was a lap dog.

The court while ad­journ­ing the hear­ing of case till Novem­ber, 19 or­dered au­dit of CNG pric­ing be got con­ducted within 15 days and its prices be kept in tact till next hear­ing. —

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