Introduction

At Josh and Mak International, we provide expert legal advice and support in navigating regulatory frameworks, including those established by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). The Complaint Resolution Procedure Regulations, 2003, are critical for ensuring transparency, fairness, and efficiency in addressing grievances within the natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG), and refined oil products sectors. This article provides a comprehensive overview of these regulations, outlining their significance, procedural requirements, and legal implications.

Overview of the Complaint Resolution Procedure Regulations, 2003

Authority and Scope: The Complaint Resolution Procedure Regulations, 2003, were promulgated by OGRA under section 42 of the OGRA Ordinance, 2002. These regulations establish a formal mechanism for resolving complaints related to natural gas, LPG, CNG, and refined oil products. They cover complaints against licensees and dealers, ensuring that consumers have a clear and effective recourse for addressing their grievances.

Key Provisions:

  1. Short Title and Commencement:
    • These regulations are cited as the Complaint Resolution Procedure Regulations, 2003, and came into force immediately upon their publication.
  2. Definitions:
    • The regulations define key terms such as ‘application’, ‘complainant’, ‘dealer’, ‘Designated Officer’, ‘Registrar’, ‘complaint resolution system’, ‘overcharging’, and ‘pricing’. These definitions provide clarity and ensure consistent interpretation and application across the regulatory framework.
  3. Nature of Complaints:
    • Complaints can be filed for violations or alleged violations of the ordinance, rules, regulations, orders of the Authority, or the terms and conditions of a license. Specific areas include billing and overcharging, connection and disconnection of service, metering, undue delay in providing service, safety practices, and the quantity and quality of natural gas, LPG, or CNG supplied.
  4. Application Requirements:
    • Applications must be submitted in a specified format, including all necessary particulars and supporting documents. Complaints must be verified by an affidavit and can be written in English or Urdu. Applications should be filed within 90 days of the date the complainant failed to obtain redress from the licensee, or within any other period approved by the Registrar.
  5. Redress from Licensee:
    • The Registrar will not accept an application unless the complainant has sought and failed to obtain redress from the licensee through the established complaint resolution system.
  6. Initial Assessment:
    • The Registrar must complete an initial assessment of the application within ten days of receipt. Applications can be rejected if they do not meet the regulatory requirements, concern matters outside OGRA’s jurisdiction, or do not merit further consideration.
  7. Licensee Response:
    • Upon acceptance of a complaint, the Designated Officer forwards a copy to the licensee, requiring a comprehensive response within 15 days or any other specified period. The response should address actions taken, reasons for dissatisfaction, any proposed remedies, implementation plans, and other relevant factors.
  8. Complaint Resolution:
    • The Designated Officer considers the licensee’s response and may take additional steps, such as arranging meetings, inspecting sites, or requiring additional information. The officer must conclude actions and notify both parties of the decision within 90 days, with recorded reasons for any delays.
  9. Appeal:
    • Either the complainant or the licensee can appeal the decision to OGRA within thirty days. The appeal must be accompanied by the prescribed fee.
  10. Recall of Complaint Case:
  • OGRA may, on its own motion or upon a specific reference or application, call for any case and pass orders as deemed fit.

Legal and Operational Implications

Transparency and Fairness: The regulations ensure a transparent and fair process for resolving complaints, protecting consumer rights and maintaining trust in the regulatory framework.

Compliance and Accountability: Licensees and dealers are held accountable for their actions and must comply with regulatory standards. Failure to do so can result in significant fines and legal repercussions.

Efficiency in Dispute Resolution: The structured process, including timelines for responses and decisions, ensures that complaints are addressed efficiently, minimizing delays and promoting timely redressal of grievances.

Consumer Protection: By establishing clear procedures for complaint resolution, the regulations enhance consumer protection and provide a reliable mechanism for addressing issues related to billing, service quality, and safety practices.

Conclusion

The Complaint Resolution Procedure Regulations, 2003, play a vital role in regulating the natural gas, LPG, CNG, and refined oil products sectors in Pakistan. At Josh and Mak International, we are committed to assisting our clients in understanding and complying with these regulations, ensuring that their rights are protected, and their grievances are effectively addressed. For detailed advice and support, please contact our expert team.

By The Josh and Mak Team

Josh and Mak International is a distinguished law firm with a rich legacy that sets us apart in the legal profession. With years of experience and expertise, we have earned a reputation as a trusted and reputable name in the field. Our firm is built on the pillars of professionalism, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to providing excellent legal services. We have a profound understanding of the law and its complexities, enabling us to deliver tailored legal solutions to meet the unique needs of each client. As a virtual law firm, we offer affordable, high-quality legal advice delivered with the same dedication and work ethic as traditional firms. Choose Josh and Mak International as your legal partner and gain an unfair strategic advantage over your competitors.

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