LHC censures Ogra for awarding licences in abundance

·         Says regulatory bodies not working for interests of poor

By: News Desk
Published: 04:24 PM, 20 Dec, 2021
LHC censures Ogra for awarding licences in abundance
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The Lahore High Court has showed its annoyance over the Ogra’s practice of distributing gas licences censuring it for becoming weaker day by day, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A two-judge bench of LHC headed by Justice Jawad Hassan was hearing the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) miscellaneous intra-court appeals against the gas and petroleum crisis in country on Monday.

FIA Additional DG Abu Bakar Khuda Bakhsh and other FIA officials appeared before the court. From federal government, Deputy Attorney General Asad Ali Bajwa and other law officials appeared. However, the court summoned the federal government lawyers on the next hearing.

While showing his resentment over Ogra’s habit of issuing gas licences, Justice Hassan remarked that Ogra was not doing any work except for issuing licences.

“Every other department is getting strong except Ogra which is getting weaker,” Justice Hassan added. He deplored that not a single regulator cared a bit for the poor people.

FIA Additional DG Khuda Bakhsh said that Ogra concentrates only on gas, not petroleum. He submitted petrol crisis commission report to the court.

The petitioners’ lawyer said that a company starts its marketing even before lying its foundation stone. He said rules were there but Ogra must be directed to abide by them.

Justice Hassan remarked that the FIA report also pointed to the fact that there was need to strengthen Ogra.

FIA additional DG said that Ogra issued several licences. There is abundance of illegal licences in market, he said adding that in the court verdict, all joint ventures were declared illegal.

Justice Hassan said the there was no stance of Ogra and federal government in the court decision which he had got. He gave a dressing down to Additional AG Asad Bajwa to bring such a judgement which was sans of Ogra and government stances.

The court asked the Ogra lawyer how much was the capacity of the refined oil and how it was different. On this, the regulatory body’s lawyer replied that refineries were old that’s why less quantity of petrol could be refined.

The FIA ADG told the court that in 25 days the country had to bear a loss of Rs3 billion. He said that there was 8km long undersea pipeline through which petrol was supplied.

The court adjourned the hearing of the case till the second week of January.