THROUGH an interim order, the Supreme Court has declared illegal the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority mechanism to link Compressed Natural Gas prices with that of petrol. …. The licence for a CNG station is granted after a payment of Rs9m in bribe … and operating a CNG station has become one of the most profitable businesses.
…Financial laws pertaining to supply and demand that exist all over the world do not fit in with the Pakistani culture where no law, rule or principle, not even human values, are considered while increasing prices. ... [T]he government has joined hands with the elements earning profits…. Our inefficient governments and rulers have adopted the easy way out: squeeze commoners in order to continue with their own lavish lifestyles.… Instead of collecting taxes and taking appropriate measures to generate revenues to meet its expenditures, the government opts for strangulating the consumers on one hand and facilitating tax evaders on the other.
Increasing and decreasing petrol prices every now and then is a simple method adopted by the government…. CNG prices are also raised exorbitantly.… In fact, corrupt elements in the government trigger the implementation of such anti-people policies … Ironically, petrol prices are increased by Rs7 a litre on the pretext of a hike in the international market while actually they decreased between Rs2 to Rs4 a litre. Pakistani consumers buy petrol at the price the American and European people get it, though commoners here have 10 times less purchasing power …. The court verdict will constitute a financial blow for the government but will certainly provide relief to the general public. — (Oct 26)
Selected and translated by Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui.