Massive embezzlement detected
Fri, Nov 20, 2009
The Nation/Asia News Network

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - A massive embezzlement of billions of rupees in price fixing mechanisms for petroleum products in local markets since 1999 by the beneficiaries, oil companies, OGRA as well as the Federal Government has been detected, remarked Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

The Chief Justice was heading a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court (SC) that heard two petitions of Rukhsana Zuberi and Iqbal Zaffar Jhagra with regard to oil, CNG and LPG prices.

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Chaudhry Aijaz Hussain were other judges of the bench.

During Thursday's proceedings, the CJ observed that Justice (Retd) Bhagwandas' report pointed out billions of rupees embezzlement by the authorities concerned with Ministry of Petroleum.

Expressing displeasure over procrastination in the implementation of Rana Bhagwandas' Judicial Commission Report on oil pricing, he observed that the government failed to implement the recommendations of the report as delay tactics were being applied.

It appears that the delay tactics, which left everything to the sweet will, compromise with the oil companies by overlooking loot and plunder in fixing oil prices, the court observed.

The CJ expressed worries over the miseries of common persons as a few selected were earning most of the money. All contracts were being awarded on the basis of nepotism, he explained.

Acting Attorney General Shah Khawar informed the court that the federal government authorised OGRA to determine oil prices.

Khawar further remarked that it would be highly inconceivable to be oblivious of the interests of oil companies and act freely and independently in the larger interest of consumers.

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