reduce in one week the prices of petroleum products and gas to pass on
the relief from fall in oil price on the international market to the
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad
Chaudhry asked Attorney General Sardar Latif Khosa to submit a
statement on reducing the prices to registrar office for perusal.
The bench, which included Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed and Justice Ch.
Ijaz Ahmed, was hearing several petitions regarding the issue of
petroleum prices in the light of fall in the prices of the fuel on
The petitions have been pending for long and the court took up the
same after submission of a report by a one-man Judicial Commission on
petroleum prices. The bench also directed the Judicial Commission to
submit a comprehensive report by June 15, next.
The Chief Justice observed that according to the interim report of the
commission no progress has been made during the last one month
regarding reduction in prices of petroleum products.
The Chief Justice expressed resentment over non-cooperation of the Oil
and Gas Ministry with the Judicial Commission.
Earlier, the Attorney General sought 25 days time but the Chief
Justice refused and gave one-week time for reduction in prices of oil
The AG informed the court that the Government has no objection to
reduce in prices of petroleum products but keeping in view the
financial position, particularly the issue of Internally Displaces
Persons (IDPs) due to the situation in Swat, Dir and Buner it was
becoming difficult for the Government to meet the daily expenditures.
Secretaries Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Finance,
who were also present in the court, informed the bench that reduction
in prices would be done during one week.
They said that the Prime Minister and the government wanted to pass on
the benefit of reduced oil prices on the international market to the
people. Reasonable reduction in prices would be made after
consultations, they added.
The Chief Justice observed that since December 1, 2008, domestic
prices of petroleum products had not been reduced.
However, oil prices on the international market had slumped
considerably but the effects had not been passed on to the consumers.
He said the relevant minister himself had stated that the government
was earning Rs. 27 per liter on petroleum products.
The Attorney General said that the Prime Minister was concerned and
full relief would be given to the people.
Justice Raja Fayyaz observed that no reduction had been given in
prices of natural gas, which was country's own product.
Chief Justice Chaudhry said that the owners of CNG stations were
increasing their rates on their own.
The one-man Commission has suggested in the report that there was need
for rationalization and review of domestic petroleum prices in view of
various factors including reduction in government duties and taxes and
freight rates, dollar-rupee parity, the cost of refining, margins
allowed to distributors and dealers commissions.