ISLAMABAD: Hearing a case regarding petroleum prices and the imposition of additional taxes, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday expressed his displeasure at the state of the country’s economy.The CJP noted with concern the sudden dip in the value of the Pak rupee and the rise in inflation rate. During the hearing, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) counsel informed the bench that there was a limit to which the state could regulate prices of petrol and liquefied natural gas (LNG). However, he agreed with the top court that remedial and precautionary measures could still be taken to offset the social consequences of price hikes. From there onwards, the debate got centred on what the court deemed was an exorbitant salary of the managing director of the PSO.The CJP asked the counsel, “On what basis is the PSO managing director drawing a salary of Rs3.7 million?” The PSO counsel replied, “The MD is appointed by the federal government and the company’s board has no control over it.” He continued, “PSO MD Imranul Haq was appointed in line with regulations and his salary was determined through the market rate,” the counsel said.However, Justice Nisar directed that the government should still informs the bench regarding the basis on which the PSO MD was paid a salary of Rs3.7 million. He said that no one else in Pakistan must be drawing as much salary. Further, the CJP also referred the matter of the PSO MD’s appointment to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) asking the bureau to inquire into the salary and perks granted to him. Also on Wednesday, the bench accepted the attorney general’s request for an in-camera briefing on the matter of LNG imports on grounds that it was a sensitive matter.Published in Daily Times, September 11th 2018.