ISLAMABAD

Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has no powers to regulate the prices of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), law in this regard is vague and the government is needed to clarify about the Ogra’s powers in terms of its authority.

Ogra’s Chairman Saeed Ahmed Khan on Friday said that LPG prices are deregulated and market forces decide about the prices. But at the same time it is written in the law that Ogra is bound to watch LPG prices and maintain it within reasonable limits. Chairman said that the term Reasonability is relative. In the wake of inflationary prices being charged by the LPG dealers/ retailers from the consumers, Chairman clarified Ogra’s role and said that Lahore High Court has barred the authority to interfere in the LPG prices that the organisation fought in the court and the court then appointed an arbitrator to resolve the matter.

As per the present formula, LPG producers companies are bound to notify their prices and are also liable to send the report to Ogra. “Now in a way LPG prices are neither regulated nor deregulated” Ogra Chairman said.

He further said that either the government should regulate it completely or deregulate it. Furthermore if the government regulates the prices then it should provide a comprehensive formula to Ogra to maintain check and balance on the prices and should also clarify its powers by making law in that regard. A recent research by Ogra has identified two major problems that include illegal decanting and price variation, Khan said. Ogra doesn’t have its own police so the provincial governments should take action against the illegal decanting activities.  About the recent petrol crisis he said that petrol demand has been increased by at least 26 percent and it is likely that Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) gets more expensive than petrol. He said that the companies lacking at least 20-day storage of petrol have been issued notices.