SC rejects plea to increase CNG prices, seeks record of CNG licenses

ISLAMABAD: A two-member Supreme Court bench on Wednesday rejected a plea seeking increase in CNG prices and directed the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority OGRA to submit today Thursday the details of the CNG tariff as well as number of CNG licenses along with their audit reports.

The bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing a case pertaining to the CNG prices. The court also sought record pertaining to the tariff and accounts of 3395 CNG stations. The court further sough report on the existing number of CNG stations operating in the country without licenses as those which had acquired licenses but were not exist/ operating on the ground.

During the hearing, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja noted that there was a cartel in the country in every sector and it seemed as if the prices were fixed on its demands. He said business is run on the basis of profit, thus if it suits the businessmen, they must carry on, otherwise they should shut down it. He said the court wanted to scrutinize the issue as per law without caring whether CNG stations were close or going to be closed.

OGRA’s counsel Salman Akram Raja told the court that the new price was formulated after involving the input of the public as well as stakeholders. The court also directed OGRA to submit details that how much requests it had received for the licenses of CNG stations and what was the number of licenses it had issued as well as rejected so far. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain noted that the matter of CNG was in the courts and a section of society was severely affecting due to it. He said the Petroleum Ministry should attend and address the issue for the sake of public interest.

Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for Sindh CNG Association contended before the court that the court had no authority to decide the CNG price, as it was the job of the executive. Waseem Sajjad, counsel for Pakistan CNG Association contended that the CNG could not be sold out on the current prices. He requested the court to give relief in this regard, but the court rejected his request.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the case till today Thursday.
After adjournment of the case, CNG Association’s chairman Ghayyas Paracha told media that the decision of the court about CNG pricing formula would be accepted by the CNG dealers all over the country.

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