ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court asked on Monday the government and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to submit a set of criteria for setting up CNG stations, especially in view of the scarce availability of natural gas connections in the country.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that had taken up a case pertaining to the CNG station licences approved during the tenures of former prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf and former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain asked for authentic copy of the government’s policy as well as the amendments made subsequently.
The directive came in view of the filing of a number of applications with Ogra by the interested parties to set up CNG stations when there was a moratorium on new gas connections.
Petroleum Secretary Abid Saeed was asked by the court to submit a comprehensive report on whether a transparent procedure had been followed in importing CNG cylinders which awaited clearance by the Federal Board of Revenue and were still at the port.
The court ordered Ogra not to issue a marketing licence, till disposal of the case, to 200 applicants for establishing CNG stations which Mr Ashraf had sanctioned but Ogra was resisting.
Advocate Iftikhar Gilani, representing Ogra, told the court that although the former prime minister had issued directives on March 12, after relaxing the ban on gas connections, for grant of licences to the 200 applicants, Ogra had not complied with the order. In compliance with an earlier directive, the FIA and Ogra submitted 1,451 files related to grant of marketing licences for the CNG stations.
The court noted that there were cases where not only the marketing licences had been issued but even the sites of the stations had been allowed to be changed in contravention of the rules.
The court will resume the hearing on April 22.