SC orders status quo of CNG prices till Dec 17

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered status quo of current CNG prices till December 17 and directed the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to cancel licenses of those CNG stations which were not willing to get their accounts audited.

A two-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing a case pertaining to the CNG prices. The court also directed to take action against all those CNG stations which were not maintaining their accounts.

Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja observed that it was the prime responsibility of OGRA to protect the rights of consumers. He said the court will not allow any such step which exploited the rights of people. During the hearing, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) presented before the court details of taxes paid by the CNG stations during the last three years. According to FBR details, during the year 2009-11, Rs4.9 billion taxes were collected from the CNG sector.

The OGRA also presented a report before the court, according to which, the OGRA received 6,471 applications for CNG licenses, of them temporary licenses were issued to 6,154 and permission for 3,395 marketing licenses were allowed from 2002 to 2011.

It stated that the CNG stations were fined for about Rs10.7 million during the last three years. Besides, show cause notices were issued to 380 stations and warnings were also given to 131 CNG outlets. According to OGRA’s report, about 1273 stations were inspected.

The report also stated that as per CNG rules of 1992, it was not necessary for the CNG stations to submit their audited accounts and income tax returns, adding that it was also not mandatory for issuing licenses, however, five pumps had submitted their audited accounts with the authority. Meanwhile, the court adjourned further hearing of the case till December 17.

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