LHC decides formation of high-level commission to probe petroleum crisis
July 9, 2020
LAHORE (92 News) – Conducting hearing on a case pertaining to petroleum crisis in the country, the Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday decided formation of a high-level commission to probe the matter. LHC Chief Justice Justice Qasim Khan sought the names for commission members from the attorney general, remarking that if the names of the attorney general were not suitable, the court would suggest itself. The chief justice said that the principal secretary’s report has nothing but evasive statements in it. Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan told the court that the government has nothing to hide and action will be taken against the responsible persons. LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan also remarked that the federal government provided benefit of Rs 7 billion to petroleum companies by fining them Rs 40 million only. Earlier, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has imposed fine amounting to 40 million rupees on six Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) for not maintaining the required fuel stocks as per terms and conditions of the licences awarded to them. In a press release, OGRA spokesman Imran Ghaznavi said fine of five million rupees each has been imposed on Attock Petroleum Limited, Puma, Gas & Oil Pakistan Limited and Hascol, and 10 million rupees each on Shell Pakistan and Total Parco Pakistan Limited, He said all oil marketing companies have been directed to ensure regular supply of petroleum products to their retail outlets, otherwise fine would be imposed on them as per the law. The authority warned OMCs of further penalties if they could not improve the supplies at their outlets. The Oil Companies Advisory Council, an informal body representing the downstream oil industry, declined to comment on the next line of action. Ogra’s decision followed show-cause notices issued on June 3 to the OMCs to explain their position regarding the availability of petroleum products at their retail outlets.