The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that CNG prices will remain unchanged and also ordered for canceling licenses of station owners who refuse to get audited.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard the case pertaining to the CNG prices issue.

An official of the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) submitted before the court, the tax records of CNG station owners for the past three years.

The CNG station owners paid Rs4.08 billion in taxes in the last three years, stated a report submitted by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

According to the report, Rs1.008 billion was paid in 2009, Rs1.42 billion in 2010 and Rs 1.0065 billion in 2011.

More over an Oil and gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) official submitted a detailed reply on the information sought by the apex court a day earlier concerning the issuance of license by the regulatory authority.

The court had sought records pertaining to the tariff accounts of 3395 CNG stations, pointing out the existence of filling stations operating without licenses and asked four questions in this regard, on Wednesday.

According to the details submitted, 6,471 applications were received by the OGRA for the issuance of CNG station license between 2002 and 2011, out of which 6,152 applicants were issued licenses, whereas 380 show-cause notices and 131 warning notices were issued during the same period.

Tax details and audit reports were not required for the issuance of CNG station licenses according to OGRA officials.

The OGRA officials gave further details that around 10.735 million rupees were collected as penalty for various reasons from 2009-2010 to 2012-2013 adding that 1,273 filling stations were inspected, during the past three years.

Justice Jawad S Khawaja remarked saying the court knew the actual operating costs and said the owners had earned Rs. 31 per kg for four years on the name of operating costs.

He said that deciding on prices was OGRA’s job and if the authority did not work properly, the court would intervene.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned till December 17 and the price of CNG would remain unchanged until the next hearing.

Speaking on the premises of the Supreme Court, CNG Association Chairman Ghayyas Paracha said that the OGRA was trying to implicate the association in a tussle with the masses.

He said that the CNG stations buy CNG from the government on a higher rate.