Thursday Jul 05 2018

Petroleum prices: CJP orders stakeholders to find way to ease public’s burden

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan on Thursday ordered the relevant stakeholders to find a way to bring down the prices of petroleum products and ease the burden on the common man.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court was hearing a case related to the surge in petroleum prices.

Expressing concern at yet another Rs7.5 hike in the price of petroleum, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar asked for justification for the most recent increase in the prices of petroleum products.

“Why are petroleum prices rising? Why is custom duty and sales tax being levied on petroleum products? We want experts’ opinion on the [continuous price hikes],” the chief justice remarked.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed that it was an unfair policy, while Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that it equated to indirect taxation.

The deputy attorney-general informed the bench that the surge in petroleum prices was a result of rising global crude oil prices and the weakness in rupee.

To this, the chief justice remarked that if petroleum prices were increasing then there was a need to adjust taxation so that the public did not have to bear the burden.

“Who are the policy-makers? Do they not care about the people?” CJP Nisar wondered.

The top judge directed the concerned officials to provide a breakup of petroleum prices from the past three months.

The deputy attorney-general told the bench that the federal government would need to be brought on board, and asked for more time to tackle the matter.

The court then adjourned hearing on the case till Sunday, July 8. 

Effective July 1, the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene oil, light diesel and high-speed diesel have been jacked up by Rs7.54, Rs14.00, Rs3.36, Rs.5.92 and Rs6.55 respectively, bringing the new per-litre prices to Rs99.50, Rs119.31, Rs87.70, Rs80.91 and Rs105.31.