Mian Muhammad Aslam, who is a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, has challenged the Rs26 overnight increase in petrol prices in the Islamabad High Court.
On June 26, the federal government increased the petrol price by Rs25.58 per litre to just a little over Rs100. The price of high-speed diesel has been increased by Rs21.31. The prices of kerosene and light diesel oil have gone up by Rs23.50 and Rs17.84 respectively.
The petitioner has requested the notification to be set aside followed by a decrease in petrol prices.
He said that the prices have been increased in an “arbitrary, unrealistic and flimsy” way. ” “Despite the slight fluctuation in the crude oil prices in international markets, the government has endorsed a huge increase in prices of petroleum products in an illegal and hasty manner by increasing the base price of petroleum products and petroleum levy”.
The people from the middle and lower classes are “facing huge financial stress because of major cuts in their earnings” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This followed by an “excessive increase [in petrol prices] will adversely affect the lives of the salaried class, small businessmen and farmers and will provide an unnecessary and unfair advantage to the large companies, which is in violation of their constitutional right of fair opportunity to trade,” the petition said.
He remarked that it is the state’s responsibility to “provide relief and support to its people during critical financial situations” but the federal government’s action is in “sheer violation of the government’s duty”.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Petroleum, PM Office, Ministry of Finance, federal government have been named as respondents in the case.