Retaining the CNG prices at their existing level, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered for cancelling licences of station owners who refuse to get audited.The court granted 10 days to the Orga, petroleum ministry and the CNG association to settle the prices matter, saying the regulatory authority was not bound to meet CNG station owners’ unreasonable demands but to keep consumers interest supreme.Following apex court’s declaring the earlier price fixing formula illegal, the commodity prices had been drastically cut down which the CNG station owners say is causing them losses.A large number of CNG owners gathered in the Courtroom No 2 where a two-judge bench comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard the case of CNG pricing formula.Strangely though, both their counsels Abdul Hafeez Pirzada and Waseem Sajjad were absent from the proceeding. The CNG owners made hue and cry and tried to influence the proceeding, saying they were dying as their losses have increased.On Oct 25, the Ogra (Oil and Gas Regularity Authority) fixed CNG price at Rs61.64 per kg for Region I (Potohar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan) and Rs54.16 per kg for Region II (Sindh and Punjab, excluding Potohar).CNG association leader Ghiyas Paracha said: “I am ready to state on oath that we are suffering huge losses.” He alleged the government officials were not telling the truth and that Ogra was trying to pit the masses against them. He asked the bench for ordering increase in prices, saying that it was on court’s order the new prices were fixed.Justice Khawaja remarked the court knew the actual operating costs and reminded him that CNG owners had earned huge profit of Rs31 per kg for four years in the name of operating costs. He said that deciding on prices was Ogra’s job and if the authority did not work properly, only then the court would intervene.The judge directed the CNG station owners to submit the facts before the regulatory authority and ordered Ogra to examine and record the statements of stakeholders by December 17. Justice Jawwad said that “transparency is court’s concern”, but it was prerogative of Ogra to regulate the CNG prices while keeping in mind consumers’ interest. He said it was not necessary that Ogra accept CNG owners’ demands.Justice Jawwad asked the Ogra to cancel the licences of those CNG stations which refuse to submit the audit accounts.Petroleum Secretary Dr Waqar Masood informed the court that the relevant cabinet committee would decide on the price of CNG within two weeks once the audit of filling stations would be complete, adding that there was no reason for revising the price before the audit process is completed.A report submitted by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said CNG station owners paid Rs4.08 billion in taxes in the last three years. It said, Rs1.008 billion was paid in 2009, Rs1.42 billion in 2010 and Rs 1.0065 billion in 2011. The court on Wednesday sought details pertaining to the stations’ tariff accounts.An Ogra official submitted a detailed reply on the information sought by the court a day earlier concerning the issuance of license by the regulatory authority. According to it, 6,471 applications for licences were received from 2002 to 2012, while total 6,154 provincial licences were granted and total 3,395 marketing licences were allowed.The report said that 380 show-cause notices and 131 warning notices were issued during the same period. Ogra officials said that around Rs1 billion rupees were collected as penalty for various reasons adding that 1,233 filling stations were inspected and that only five companies had submitted audit reports during the past ten years. Petitioner Chaudhry Ikram told the court that 450 CNG stations were being operated illegally. The Ogra’s counsel Salman Akram Raja told the court that the CNG stations are not ready for audit of their accounts. He presented a letter of APCNGA that read: “Most of the CNG stations of our members are either sole proprietorship or Association of Persons (AoP), therefore, unlike limited companies there is no statutory requirement for such CNG stations to maintain audited accounts on annual basis.”Upon that, some CNG owners said they were ready for the audit of their accounts. Justice Jawwad said: “We want to know what is cost of CNG?” The judge said for the last four years the CNG owners have been earning profit Rs31 per kg, adding “I don’t like to comment on it”.During the proceeding, the court noted that if Ogra and Competitive Commission of Pakistan perform its functions in accordance with law then the matter could be resolved amicably. Justice Jawwad said it is initially and primarily duty of Ogra to protect the consumers’ rights under CNG Rules 1992 and Orga Ordinance 2002.The CNG owners requested the court to constitute a commission to probe the CNG pricing issue. Justice Khilji said it was quite possible that they may constitute a commission on the issue if the government, Ogra and CNG owners are unable to resolve the matter. The case was adjourned till December 17.