Court: SC directs to maintain current CNG prices till Dec 20

ISLAMABAD: A two-member Supreme Court bench on Monday directed to maintain the current prices of Compressed Natural Gas CNG till December 20.

The bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain also directed that the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee ECC of the Cabinet about fixation of CNG prices be furnished before it on December 20.

The court summoned the record of those sectors which were receiving gas subsidy from the petroleum ministry for last 10 years. The court ordered the government to issue CNG pricing policy guidelines without any delay so that the sufferings of the consumers could be lessened. The court directed that the details of subsidy being given to the fertilizer sector as well as domestic consumers be furnished before it on next hearing.

Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority OGRA and the Petroleum Ministry have been asked to resolve the CNG issue at the earliest. The court directed the owners of CNG filling station to submit the statements of their audited accounts with the OGRA.

At the onset of the hearing, Salman Akram Raja, counsel for OGRA, told the court that the CNG prices determined in a meetings between the CNG association and OGRA would be presented in the federal cabinet on December 20. He said Rs73.96 per kilo was recommended for Region1, while Rs65.50 per kilo was recommended for Region2.

He told the court that a meeting of the ECC being held today Tuesday was likely to give approval of the CNG policy guidelines. The court rejected an application filed by Waseem Sajjad, counsel for CNG association, seeking increase in the CNG prices. Later, the court adjourned further hearing till December 20.