ISLAMABAD: In the backdrop of strong backlash coming from political and public circles against federal government's decision to increase petroleum prices, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser on Sunday said the Parliament will "play its due role in resolving public issues including increase in petroleum prices."
He said this during a meeting with Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan in Islamabad on Sunday, according to a statement.
Earlier on June 26, the federal government increased the price of petrol by Rs 25.58 per litre, high speed diesel by Rs 21.31 per litre, kerosene oil by Rs 23.5 per litre and light diesel by Rs17.84 per litre.
This decision has not only attracted public ire, but has also been challenged in the Lahore High Court by one Qayyum Khan. "The recent hike in petroleum products is tantamount to a huge burden on the public," the related petition says, filed through counsel Saim Chaudhry.
"People are already facing hardships and are in distress because of COVID-19 but the federal government increased the rates on the recommendation of the petroleum division illegally, unlawfully, and without lawful authority," the petition reads.
It requests the court to set aside the federal government's notification regarding increase in petroleum prices.
Meanwhile, according to statement issued after speaker NA- AGP meeting, the AGP briefed the speaker about "remarks of Lahore High Court regarding increase in petroleum prices."
"Discussing Lahore High Court's remarks, the Speaker said we respect the judiciary in all aspects and report has already been sought from Standing Committee on Petroleum in this regard," the statement said.
The speaker NA said directions have also been issued to the committee to probe into the matter, the statement added.
The opposition political parties have accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led coalition government of benefitting the oil cartel by allowing the 'mafia' to first stock fuel at cheaper rates that created countrywide shortage of petrol, and then federal government increased the petroleum prices to the alleged benefit of oil cartel which sold the stocked fuel at higher prices and allegedly earned billions of rupees profit.