KARACHI - The Supreme Court has sought proposals from concerned institutions to reduce petroleum prices within 10 days.

A larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday conducted hearing the matter pertaining to the gradual increase in petrol prices here at Karachi Registry.

A report was submitted by the petroleum ministry, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) regarding allocation of petroleum prices and imposing of tax, the court has rejected the report after expressing its dissatisfaction.  

The court directed to submit mechanism to allocate petroleum price, and also issued direction to submit detailed report pertaining education of DG Ogra and other heads of the petroleum departments. The court also sought the procedure on recruitments in the key posts in the petroleum departments.

During the proceeding, secretary petroleum Arif Khan submitted before the court that the previous government did not increase the petroleum prices; therefore the burden of the previous government’s decision came to the interim government. He added that the price can be increased to reduce the loss. 

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar gave his remarks by saying that it means the people will have to bear more burden of price hiking.

Secretary petroleum Arif Khan claimed that petroleum prices are still the lowest in the region, it is expensive in India. “Pakistan and India cannot be compared in this regard, look at the value of dollar in India, “, said the CJP while responding secretary arguments. 

While replying to a quarry, Managing Direction Pakistan State Oil (PSO) said that there are twenty two companies import petroleum including PSO, he added that different tax have been imposed after importing petroleum. The CJP inquired that who makes the policy in this regard, MD replied that government is authorized to do so.  “So what is the mandate of OGRA” asked the CJP?. MD replied that Ogra only makes policy.

The court rejected the record produced by the PSO and other respondents and said that it will be examined by the experts, “Through which laws and formulas are taxes being imposed?” Chief Justice Nisar asked.

Earlier, the CJP said in his remarks that all institutions found responsible for increasing petroleum prices will be held accountable.

Earlier, the PSO informed the court that the actual price of petrol is Rs62.38 per litre. Rs9.85 per litre tax was levied on the commodity and Inland Freight Equalization Margin of Rs8.83 was also added to the price. The PSO further said that oil marketing companies were earning Rs2.55 per litre, while dealers were earning a commission of Rs3.35 per litre. The federal government imposed a 15 per cent tax on petrol in May, which was reduced to 12 per cent in June, Suttar informed the court. “The price of petrol, after levying tax is Rs91.96 per litre,” he said.