ISLAMABAD Chairman Standing Committee of National Assembly on Petroleum and Natural Resources, Sheikh Waqas Akram, has said that according to Pakistan Contract Act, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) extraction contract signed between Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) can be declared null and void at any time if it is proved that it is based on mala fide intention. Sheikh Waqas Akram while talking to TheNation after the meeting of Standing Committee of National Assembly on Petroleum and Natural Resources said, The NA body has taken LPG issue on its agenda and will hold meetings from October 12-13 to discuss all the issues related to LPG business in Pakistan. He further said that Barjees Tahir, Convener of the sub-committee, had assured him to submit report soon. According to him, the sub-committee had completed its 90 percent work on LPG issues and was interested to listen to the accused before submitting final report. He further said, We will also make it public to the media and now we will take it as a main agenda item. He also informed that he had proposed 10-year imprisonment for chief executive, 5-year term for director and over two years imprisonment for general manger of the company in case of cartelisation in Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), however this idea was dropped. He said that various countries of the world including United States had concept of imprisonment. It is better to impose imprisonment rather than financial penalty to avoid malpractices in business. The NA body directed the Ministry of Petroleum to submit report over the case of JJVL in court against million of rupees penalty imposed by CCP. The Committee members observed that some LPG companies had formed a consortium named as JJVL only to abuse the market. It is shocking that the Government has given guarantee to JJVL for extension in agreement beyond 2011, Sheikh Waqas Akram said. The Committee also decided to call CCP officials to listen their view on decision against cartelisation of JJVL in LPG business. The Committee also expressed concern over deregulation of LPG price during the meeting. The Committee doubted that deregulation of LPG prices would benefit some LPG groups. The NA Committee members asked again and again why the Government deregulated only LPG product whereas other products like CNG and petroleum products were regulated to stabilise the prices. The Committee also observed that LPG price, which stood at Rs 17,000 per tonne, had reached Rs 65,000 per tonne due to negligence on the Government side. The Committee decided to call all those companies, which were allotees of JJVL. The NA body strongly criticised the role of the Government that had framed rules to benefit certain LPG group and had ignored the consumers. All responsible persons should be taken to task, the Committee noted. The NA Standing Committee met on Tuesday and expressed its grave concern over the increase of LPG prices by the marketing companies and directed the Ministry to take immediate steps to stop undue price hike in the LPG prices. The Ministry apprised the Committee that the closure of PSO Lal Pir Depot, Muzaffargarh, closure of OMCS installation at Mehmood Kot and shutdown of PARCO Refinery due to floodwaters were the major causes of petrol shortage. However, the Ministry officials could not satisfy the Committee.