KARACHI: A petition was filed in the Sindh High Court on Monday against the recent record increase in the prices of petroleum products.

The petitioners submitted that the increase in the prices from 27 per cent to 66pc was made without adopting rules, regulations and procedure.

They argued that the impugned notification was unjust, unfair and in violation of Article 4, 9, 10, 25 and 77 of the Constitution.

Impleading the secretaries of petroleum and finance, chairman of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and others as respondents, the petitioners further submitted that without adopting the due procedure and in the absence of any summary proposed by Ogra, the government had on June 26 increased the prices of petroleum products in its sole discretion by superseding the rules and regulations though the earlier prices would be effective till July 31.

They maintained that the record hike in the petroleum products’ prices was made apparently with a motive to benefit oil marketing companies, which had reserved stock to supply products on previous prices.

They further submitted that the move was also aimed at addressing the ongoing supply chain disruptions that had led to serious shortages in many parts of the country due to a pricing dispute between the government and the industry.

The petitioners submitted that now the government was charging around Rs47 per litre taxes on petrol and high speed diesel as the petroleum levy on both items was set at a maximum permissible level of Rs30 per litre.

They added that the government had already increased the general sales tax on all petroleum products to a standard rate of 17pc across the board to generate additional revenues.

They argued that prices of all the necessities of life would automatically increase and the common people would suffer by way of these increased prices.

They pleaded to declare the price hike illegal.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020