LAHORE - The Lahore High Court Thursday summoned Prime Minister’s inquiry report and meeting minutes of advisory committee on oil over the recent petrol crises across the country.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court was hearing the case. Justice Mansoor remarked that “Petroleum ministry should be stopped if it cannot work and perform its duties.”

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority director appeared in the court and said that OGRA issued licences to oil companies and monitor them while companies fix prices in accordance with formula given by OGRA. It is first time in the country’s history that POL prices were cut down and demand and supply suddenly increased. He said the ministry for petroleum was responsible to maintain supply and demand but it badly failed to do so.

In previous hearing, the court had sought detailed report from officials of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority and ministry of petroleum over petrol crisis. The counsel for the ministry of petroleum told the court that till December demand of petrol in the province was 12290 metric ton per day which sharply increased to more than 40,000 metric. The reason behind this demand was the cheaper rates, said the counsel.

He further said that this sudden increase in demands led to the shortage of petrol and now it was available in the province and anyone can get it easily.  

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the LHC who was hearing the case asked the counsel of Ogra that why the government did not know that the low prices would create shortage of petrol in the country.

The judge further said that it was important to know that how this crisis took place. The judge directed the respondents to submit reply regarding the mechanism of how the prices of petroleum products are fixed.

Advocate Safdar Shaheen Pirzada and Advocate Gohar Nawaz Sindhu had filed the petitions saying that shortage of petrol had caused serious problems for the citizens. The shortage also caused serious financial loss to a large number of people, said the petitioner.

They said the government intentionally created artificial shortage. They requested the court to hold judicial inquiry into the shortage of petrol and bring the responsible to justice.