- PSO blames OGRA, OGRA holds govt responsible for surging prices of petroleum
- CJP says court dissatisfied with imposition of taxes and levies on petroleum products
KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday expressed annoyance over the “blame game” between institutions pertaining to taking responsibility for the continuously surging prices of petroleum.
The CJP was hearing a case related to the additional taxes on petroleum prices at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry.
The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) managing director apprised the bench that buyers of petroleum products included PSO and 22 other companies and these companies forward demand estimates for three months after a joint meeting.
The PSO MD also told that court that petroleum prices were determined according to changes in global oil prices. CJP Nisar remarked that the public was fed up with the continuous surge in petroleum products.
“In what capacity the heads of these institutions are working? The public is fed up of the continuous rise in petroleum prices and court will not spare anyone who is responsible,” he said.
The MD also explained to the court that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) was responsible for determining policies pertaining to petroleum prices.
The CJP was irked at the OGRA chairman’s absence from the hearing.
On the other hand, OGRA officials present during the hearing told the court that OGRA did not make petroleum price policies and claimed that the government did.
CJP Nisar remarked that it seemed that dealers and their institutions enjoyed a monopoly over all of this.
He also inquired the procedure to minimise the petroleum prices. The finance secretary told the judge that the government has not augmented the prices as the interim government has been burdened by the decision of previous ruling party. He maintained that the prices can be amplified further to lessen the loss.
“It means that the citizens will be punished more. The court is not satisfied with the process of prices and taxes,” remarked the CJP. “The petroleum prices in Pakistan are still the lowest in the region,” replied the secretary.
“I have heard this argument several times that the prices are less than India. Review the price of dollar also in the neighbouring country,” said the CJP.
The court while adjourning the hearing till July 5 directed the concerned institutions to submit a comprehensive reply.