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SC rejects CNG price hike, seeks record of tariff accounts

06 December, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday rejected the request of All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) to increase gas prices and directed Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to submit details of CNG licences issued in the last three years and account details of station owners.

A two-member SC bench, comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, heard the case pertaining to the price of CNG.

The SC also sought details from OGRA regarding action taken each year against CNG stations for not complying with applicable terms and conditions stated in their licences or in the applicable law and rules.

The court also directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to submit details about owners of CNG stations who have filed their tax returns along with amount of taxes, if any, paid by them during the last three years.

The court rejecting APCNGA's plea to increase CNG prices observed that prices would remain unchanged until decision of the case.

The counsel for OGRA informed the bench that a very limited number of people had submitted their audited accounts to OGRA while a vast majority has failed to do so despite OGRA's demand.

The APCNGA's counsel told the court that around 3,000 CNG stations have closed down, adding that it was not court's duty to determine prices and that the government is responsible for pricing.

APCNGA Chairman Ghias Paracha apprised the court that the association would abide by the court's decision.

The court also sought records pertaining to the tariff accounts of 3,395 CNG stations, pointing out the existence of filling stations operating without licences.

The court also asked about the number of requests the OGRA had received for CNG stations licences, followed by the number of licences issued by the regulatory authority.

Justice Khawaja termed the CNG association a "cartel", adding that the government appeared to oblige to the demands made by the so-called cartel. The court later adjourned the case until today (Thursday).

End.

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