LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday allowed one week time to Federal Government to submit reply in response of a petition challenging increase of petroleum prices and electricity tariff.

As the proceedings started, a deputy attorney general appeared before the court and requested it to grant some time to file reply after seeking instructions from the federal government.

At this the court adjourned the hearing for next week.  Advocate Mateen-ul-Haq Chaudhry had filed the petition before LHC challenging the notification for increase of the power and petrol prices.

The petitioner stated that the nation was already suffering due to price hike and loadshedding and this fresh increase petroleum would multiply the miseries of the common man.

He alleged that Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had increased the power tariff by 40 to 80 percent for domestic consumers and petroleum products prices; it is as if the government dropped electricity and petrol bombs on the already burdened masses.

He stated that this increase would lead to further unemployment as a result of the high cost of production and low demand and the entrepreneurs would pass on the additional cost of production to the consumers already facing hardships due to hyperinflation. He alleged that in complete compliance with the IMF loan terms, the government increased the power tariff for domestic consumers by withdrawing the subsidy of Rs140 billion. He said prices of petroleum products are decreasing in the international market as Indian government has reduced prices of petroleum prices the same day when the Pakistan government announced increase.

He said that people from all walks of life were right in making hue and cry over this increase. He requested that this increase should be declared as illegal and till the final decision of this petition the impugned notification issued by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) may be suspended.