ISLAMABAD - The historic surge in dollar’s rate against the Pakistani rupee has also invited the attention of Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar who on Wednesday remarked that the value of dollar was being increased while the inflation had also soared up.

He further observed that the taxes had been increased leaving people in anxiety in such circumstances.

The CJ made these remarks during hearing of a suo motu case regarding alleged exorbitant unreasonable taxes, cess, duty and fee on oil, gas and electricity.

A three-member bench headed by chief justice and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Faisal Arab also directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to inquire against appointment of former Managing Director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Imranul Haq and his perks and privileges within four weeks.

When the hearing commenced, the chief justice questioned the performance of previous government and lamented that a Managing Director (MD) was appointed at Rs3.7 million salary.

A chartered accountant, who was tasked by the top court to conduct audit of petroleum prices, informed the top court that the MD of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was appointed by the federal government in exercise of its powers.

He further informed that the vacancy for the post was announced in January 2015 and the process was outsourced to a private company which shortlisted three candidates.

However, he added, the government cancelled the process and again advertised the post thereafter Imranul Haq was appointed.

The bench was also informed that the PSO’s MD Haq used to draw Rs1.7 million in 2010 and he, who was drawing Rs3.7 million in PSO, was getting Rs3.4 million in Engro Company.

The bench asked regarding then secretary petroleum and minister. Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor responded that Arshad Mirza was then secretary of the ministry while then minister was Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

He further informed the court that the appointments in previous government were made on the basis of likes, dislikes and nepotism due to which the exchequer suffered loss.

He further informed the bench regarding the complaints against import of LNG adding that NAB was probing LNG import contracts which also caused loss of billions of rupees to the government exchequer.

In compliance with the top court order, the accountancy firm KPMG Taseer Hadi &Co. submitted an audit report on the fair price of Motor Spirit (MS) and High Speed Diesel (HSD).

The report stated that ex-depot price for PSO was monitored by OGRA and procurements by PSO were governed by PPRA Rules while taxes on such ex-depot prices are finalized by FBR.

“We have been given to understand that the possibility of any discount on import price is entirely dependent upon G-to-G negotiations, despite the fact that PSO has been procuring MS and HSD from a limited set of vendors,” the audit report revealed.

It added that the ex-depot price is largerly uncontrollable in the case of PSO. The top court directed the NAB to examine the transparency in appointments as to whether the same were made on merits or otherwise. The top court adjourned the hearing for 4 weeks.