The judge was hearing a writ petition filed by the All Pakistan Compressed Natural Gas Association against the three days a week gas loadshedding.

 

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday questioned the role of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in implementing the gas loadshedding plan by directly issuing a notification and ignoring the laws of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah put a question mark on ECC decisions when the counsel for the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) told the court that loadshedding of CNG was being carried out on the directions of the ECC in all provinces. However, he said, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was exempted from loadshedding under Article 158 of the Constitution.

He said gas loadshedding was being carried out in other sectors. The fertiliser sector was supplied gas eight months a year, while gas supply to 10 of the 15 independent power producers (IPPs) had been permanently suspended. The cement industry was also facing gas loadshedding.

On judge’s query, Ogra counsel said the authority had no role in implementing any policy. Its job was only to issue licences, he added.

Justice Shah expressed concern at poor knowledge of the counsel and said: “You may not be aware of Ogra laws. If your version is to be believed, the whole system will collapse.” The judge summoned the Ogra member (gas) on Wednesday (today) along with complete record of gas loadshedding in all sectors.

The judge was hearing a writ petition filed by the All Pakistan Compressed Natural Gas Association against the three days a week gas loadshedding. The association through its chairman Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha submitted that the government had no jurisdiction to implement the loadshedding plan.

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