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Thursday February 29, 2024

High increase in gas prices: PHC seeks comments from govt

By Bureau report
December 07, 2023

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has sought comments from the respondents in multiple writ petitions filed by cement and textile companies of KP.

A PHC divisional bench comprising Justice Abdul Shakoor and Justice Syed Arshad Ali heard the petition. 

A representational image shows a flame lit up on a stove. — Unsplash/File
A representational image shows a flame lit up on a stove. — Unsplash/File

The counsel for the petitioners, Shumail Ahmad Butt, argued that natural gas price hike notified on November 8, this year was unprecedented, illegal, and a classic case of administrative highhandedness.

He submitted to court that Ogra had fixed gas tariff to be Rs 1238 on June 2 which was supposed to be notified after concurrence of the federal government within 40 days in case the government wished to enhance tariff.

The counsel said instead, the Economic Coordination Committee decided to approve a summary of the Petroleum Division on October 31 and allowed a more than 200 percent increase.

He argued that the federal government despite commitment to reduce subsidies had gone on to slap industry with huge amounts in the name of cross subsidy without any lawful authority. The counsel contended that the government had no power to pass on the price of expensive RLNG to consumers of KP in view of Article 158 of the Constitution.

The court directed Deputy Attorney General Sanaullah to file comments on or before December 13, a date fixed for the case hearing for a final disposal.