ISLAMABAD, Sept 7: Recent increase in prices of petroleum products was challenged in Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday.

A citizen through his counsel requested the IHC to order Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to withdraw the increase.

Advocate Yasir Mehmood Chaudhry stated that Ogra on September 1 increased the petrol price to Rs 109.14 from Rs 104.5, high speed diesel to Rs 112.26 from Rs 109.76, kerosene to Rs105.99 from Rs101.28.

The petitioner said the increase in petroleum prices would shoot up the prices of all daily use commodities.

He said the increase had added to poor people’s woes as they had already been hit hard by inflation, unemployment and terrorism.

They are unable to make both ends meet because of ongoing crisis and now the increase in petrol prices would further increase their hardship.

The increase is a violation of the Constitution as Articles 9 and 14 allow a person to live with dignity and Article 18 assures that prices of commodities should not be beyond the common man reach.

He prayed to the court to declare the raise as null and void and issue direction to the Ogra to cut the prices of petroleum in the larger interest of the country.

Petitioner Irfan Zakir while talking to Dawn said that all over the world governments increased revenue through direct tax but in Pakistan government had been earning through indirect taxes.

“Government should address the problems of common people rather than increasing them because it is responsibility of elected government to provide relief to people,” he said.

Advocate Yasir Chaudhry said that registrar of IHC had accepted the writ petition without any objection and it was expected that hearing will be started soon.

Professor of economics Amir Zia while talking to Dawn said that increase in prices of petroleum directly affect the prices of basic commodities.

“Government should increase its tax net rather than increasing the tax because it will increase the problem of common people,” he said. —A Reporter

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