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June 30, 2020

SHC moved against increase in petroleum products’ prices

Karachi

June 30, 2020

A petition has been filed in the Sindh High Court challenging the recent increase of 27 to 66 per cent in the petroleum products’ prices, including the Rs25 hike in the price of one litre of petrol.

The petitioner, Maulvi Iqbal Haider, submitted that the federal government had increased the petroleum products’ prices by up to 66 per cent through an unusual procedure without any summary proposed by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on whether the petroleum products’ prices should be increased or decreased.

He submitted that the government superseded the rules and regulations in this regard, which came as a surprise for the citizens because the price increase was out of schedule and not promoted by any summary moved by the oil sector regulator, which was the normal procedure.

He submitted that the federal government was charging Rs47 per litre taxes on petrol and high speed diesel as the petroleum levy on both the items was now set at the maximum permissible level of Rs30 per litre.

The petitioner stated that the government had already increased the general sales tax on all the petroleum products to a standard rate of 17 per cent across the board to generate additional revenues.

According to the petitioner, the prices of all the necessary items with regard to the lives of common people had automatically increased due to the unjustified increase in the petroleum products’ prices and the people belonging to the lower income groups had to bear the maximum brunt of such inflation.

The SHC was requested to declare the recent increase in the prices of all petroleum products by up to 66 per cent to be unjust and unlawful, and direct the government to recall the notification with regard to the price increase.

The petitioner also requested the high court to declare that the increase in the prices of petroleum products without placing it before Parliament wasunjust. The SHC was also asked to direct the respondents to submit the formula for arriving at petroleum prices before the court and pass appropriate orders.