Chief Justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar’s crackdown on mineral water companies has now turned towards one of the biggest names in the country, Nestle Pakistan.
The CJP has now ordered a forensic audit of Nestle’s mineral water operations across the country. He also directed to conduct the sample testing of all the mineral water companies.
Chief Justice Nisar maintained that despite the scarcity of water in the country, the mineral water companies were able to extract huge amounts of groundwater from the subsurface almost free of cost while selling the bottled water at ludicrously inflated rates.
The CJP was of the view that the mineral water companies should sell water at reasonable rates while also paying a suitable fee to the government, which they have managed to get waived off for the past 20 years. The amount of fee they need to pay will be decided based on the forensic audit, he maintained while rejecting Nestle’s plea, by senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, to get the audit done after one month.
The Chief Justice reiterated that the accountability of companies that sell overpriced mineral water to the public has just begun.
The matter of water is an issue which cannot be neglected. Next in turn are big societies which obtain water from tubewells and charge residents for the water. These societies do not pay to the government.
Nestle has been given 15 days to carry out a forensic audit and present the report before the apex court.