SHC seeks replies from OGRA, SSGC on gas prices

Extends interim bail of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in PSO illegal appointments case

​ Our Correspondent June 10, 2020

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices on Tuesday seeking replies from the Pakistan Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). The court was hearing a petition seeking the reduction in CNG prices.

OGRA and SSGC sought extensions from the court to submit their replies.

The court observed that corruption cases against the SSGC administration are also currently under trial.

The petitioner's lawyer informed the court that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has carried out investigations against the company's administration and has filed reference as well.

The petitioner had stated in the plea that the international crude oil market has crashed and Pakistan, which imports petroleum products, has reduced the prices of petroleum products by Rs40 to Rs50. However, CNG, which is a natural gas and is produced locally in the country, is being purchased at a cheaper cost but sold at higher rates, stated the petition, quoting current CNG prices at Rs123 per kg. The petitioner prayed the court to direct the federal government to reduce the price of CNG. The petition further stated that in the current situation, owners of CNG stations have also begun firing their employees.

The court granted extensions to OGRA and SSGC and sought replies from them by June 30.

Bail extended

Separately, a two-member bench comprising Justice Omar Sial and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi extended the interim bail of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and former petroleum secretary Arshad Mirza till August 27.

The bench was hearing the case pertaining to illegal appointments in Pakistan State Oil (PSO).

The defence lawyer stated before the court that Abbasi could not appear at the hearing as he has contracted the coronavirus.

The bench directed both Abbasi and Mirza to appear before the court on the next hearing. The court also directed NAB to appear prepared at the next hearing. 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2020.


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