Ogra has no say in determination of oil, LPG prices

Islamabad-Instead of playing a vigorous regulator’s role, Ogra is just performing function of calculating body or a rubber stamp while determining the prices of petroleum products and LPG. Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has just no say in the determination of Oil and LPG prices, official sources said. 
According Ogra ordinance 2002, the regulator has to “protect the interests of all stakeholders including the consumers and the licensees in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance and the rules,” 
Ogra is judicial forum and it should not work mere a calculator/rubber stamp but it required to be judicious. Ogra is not subordinate to the Petroleum division and instead of rubberstamping the government decisions it should stand against the wrong decisions and protect the interest of all the stakeholders. Not only Oil and LPG, in LNG also Ogra has little to say in the price determination. If Ogra is just playing the role of calculator than what is the need to pay hefty salaries to its employees? The source questioned.
Recently even the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has imposed strict restrictions over the sharing of the monthly price fuel price determination, prior the government announcement, with consumers and media, the source said. 
It is worth to mention here that recently a parliamentary committee had termed Ogra a rubber stamp authorising the wrong decisions of the government. At the end of every month (now bi-weekly) Ogra workout petroleum prices for the coming month and forward its recommendations to the petroleum division for final decision. Earlier, Ogra was not so much strict with the sharing of the recommendations with media (a day in advance from the official announcement) and the consumers used to know in advance of the government decision regarding the basis of Ogra’s price recommendation. Now for the last few months, Ogra completely avoids to share the information regarding fuel price determination and keep it in tight security unless the federal government formally announces it. Ogra seems to be protecting the interest of the Oil Companies and the petroleum division and the consumers are being kept in dark over the bases of the price determination. Same is the case with LPG prices, where by law the government has deprived the regulator of the power to determine the Marketing, Distribution and Transportation margins. There is fixed Margins amounting Rs35,000 per MT on LPG which Ogra just calculate and add to the monthly price of LPG. In Comparison to Ogra, Nepra, which regulate the power sector, has brought transparency in its determination of the electricity prices and updating its consumers regularly regarding any change in their prices.

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