A resolution of the National Assembly condemning this price system and recommendations of the NA standing committee on petroleum have also been dispatched along with the summary, sent to the ECC just a day before it meets and two days before the Supreme Court hears a case on this issue.
And sources say the ministry in this summary, sent to the highest economic forum of the country, has rejected the assembly’s resolution and recommendations of the standing committee and supported maintain the weekly system, giving credence to claims that the step is just an eyewash.
Moreover, the stance of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and the finance ministry – who are against the weekly price adjustment – has not been included in the summary, they said. Sources quoted petroleum ministry officials as saying that they would try that this mechanism stays. It was also learnt that the petroleum ministry has also proposed fixing CNG price at 80 per cent of the petrol price against the present 60 per cent rate, invoking a strong reaction from the stakeholders.
All Pakistan CNG Association Chairman Ghayas Paracha said that if the summary was approved, the price of CNG would rise by rupees 34 and would reach to rupees 128 per kg.
The CNG association president said that they would protest against the decision and go to the courts over the issue. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Paracha said that price of CNG was being increased illegally for the past 14 days. He said that action should be taken against officials involved in this wrong decision. He demanded that price increment decision during last three months should be taken back. He also claimed that the weekly adjustment of CNG price was illegal. Despite a unanimous call of the national assembly and concerns expressed by the apex court, Oil marketing companies (OMCs) and dealers, the ministry has maintained the weekly system. And sources told The Nation that Advisor to the Premier on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain and Petroleum Secretary Dr Waqar Masood would leave no stone unturned to support weekly mechanism in the ECC meeting scheduled for today (Tuesday).
The NA Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources had recommended time and again reviving old monthly oil pricing mechanism and bringing back the prices of petroleum products to the level of July 31.
The National Assembly on October 11 adopted a unanimous resolution condemning weekly price review mechanism, which it said had proved anti-public and anti-business because since its imposition, and urged the government to revive old monthly pricing system, besides putting in place an open and transparent system for price fixation.
Dr Asim and Dr Waqar had been saying in the NA panel’s meetings and even in the meetings of Parliament that this weekly oil pricing mechanism was “need of the hour” and fuel price hike can only be withdrawn if the parliament gives approval to reduce the share of petroleum levy imposed on the petroleum products.