The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC)’s decision to raise the price of petroleum products by Rs9.35 per litre has been challenged in Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday.

The petition stated that the international crude oil prices remained stagnant; but the government has increased the prices which would severely affect the masses.

The petition contended that the increase in prices of petroleum was the violation of Articles 9, 14 and 15 of the Constitution of Pakistan, as it would cause further inflation. It pleaded with the court to declare the ECC’s decision null and void.

Yesterday, the ECC of the federal cabinet approved an increase of Rs9.35 per litre in the price of petrol after the premier asked it to revise a proposal by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), seeking an increase of Rs14.37 per litre in petrol price from 1st May.

The meeting also approved an increase of Rs4.89 per litre in diesel price, Rs6.40 per litre in light diesel price and Rs7.46 per litre in kerosene price.

The new prices will be applied after approval by the federal cabinet on May 7. The increase, if approved by the prime minister, would take the per litre price of petrol to Rs108.

On April 30, the federal cabinet had deferred the proposed price hike in petroleum products by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and referred the matter to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for further consideration.

It is pertinent to mention here that the government on April 1 increased prices of all petroleum products by up to 6.45 per cent. In that month, petrol and diesel prices were increased by Rs 6 per litre while kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO) was jacked up by Rs3 per litre.