CNG prices intact until next SC hearing


Directing the authorities concerned to conduct a forensic audit of the price of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) within 15 days, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that the slashed rates of CNG be retained until the next hearing into the case.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said the court had not conducted an assessment of CNG prices and had left the matter to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).
OGRA officials presented the newly-finalised formula for CNG pricing to the court as well as the detailed recommendations regarding CNG prices throughout the country. The court asked the Petroleum Ministry to honour the constitutional rights of consumers.
Taking notice of a statement by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain in a private TV channel programme, the chief justice sought an explanation from the petroleum secretary.
During the particular programme, Hussain had said the petroleum mafia had kept the matter of petroleum policy pending on court’s orders. The petroleum secretary told the bench that the case related to petroleum levy was currently being heard in the Lahore High Court. To this, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry instructed him to approach the court and request for a prompt hearing.
The chief justice vowed that the court will not allow any mafia to rule in the country. Justice Jawwad S Khwaja observed that OGRA’s function was not to play the role of a subservient. “It seems as if the government had not only formed cartels but they were also favoured. The CNG Association is a cartel and the government is inking agreements with it,” he added. The court remarked that it wanted the government to work and assert its authority.