ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court summoned on Friday the federal minister for Petroleum, Ghulam Sarwar Khan in a petition regarding the imposition of different taxes on gas and petroleum products.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar is hearing a petition regarding heavy taxes levied on petroleum products, electricity and gas bills.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) special prosecutor Akbar Tarar and Pakistan State Oil’s (PSO) counsel, Mehmood Mirza, appeared before the court.
As the hearing began, PSO’s counsel submitted a report regarding prices of petroleum products before the bench and said the prices are high owing to management and sales affairs.
To this, the Chief Justice remarked that there was an unjust increase in the prices of petroleum products, following which he referred the matter to NAB.
Justice Nisar then said, “If Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan is in town call him.”
When the Chief Justice questioned “where the chief executive officer is who draws Rs3.7 million?”, the PSO counsel responded he has retired.
The NAB special prosecutor then informed the court, “During the previous government’s term, a PSO managing director was appointed to benefit one person.”
To this, Justice Nisar remarked, “Call Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ask him why this happened.”
“NAB should go after such cases and leave tehsildars. The nation should know what has happened with them,” he said.
Justice Nisar then asked the NAB special prosecutor about Ahad Cheema, to which Tarar said, “We have prepared cases.”
The chief justice also expressed anger at PSO for hiring a private lawyer and asked Mirza how much fee he is being paid. “State intuitions are sinking in debt but they hire private counsels, PSO should have asked the attorney general to represent it.”
Earlier, the petroleum minister expressed that they will particularly review the price of diesel and ensure to make its price on par with the price of petrol which was cheaper than petrol before 2004 and now its price is higher than the petrol.
Sarwar said that efforts will be made to improve the local production of refined and crude petroleum products which is presently at 15 percent against 85 percent of imports. He added the ministry will strengthen the role of OGDCL to improve local production.