PM endorses two-month ban on gas supply to CNG stations in Punjab

Published: December 23, 2011

Gilani discusses government rejoinder with senior PPP members at meeting. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

With the opposition onboard, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani gave the petroleum ministry the go-ahead to impose a two-month ban on gas supply to CNG stations in Punjab.

With gas shortfall expected to jump up to over 1 billion cubic feet gas per day next month, Prime Minister Gilani gave his approval during a high-level meeting on LNG and gas import at the Prime Minister House on Thursday.

“In addition to curtailing gas for CNG stations, a 25% increase in CNG prices is also on the cards which the Planning Commission has proposed to implement from January 1,” sources said.

During a recent meeting of the petroleum ministry, Deputy Chairman Dr Nadeemul Haq had proposed bringing CNG prices at 80% parity with petrol, against the current 55%. Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain said he had supported the imposition of the two-month ban in the National Assembly. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had proposed a 14% increase in gas prices across the board, effective from January 1, he added.

“There will be no cross-subsidy for gas consumers from January,” he said.

Prime Minister Gilani was informed during the meeting that a consensus had been reached on the ban of gas supply to CNG stations in Punjab, sources told The Express Tribune, adding however, that leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was opposing the ban.

Prime Minister Gilani directed that the ban should only be implemented if the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) agrees.

Easing the pressure

To ease the pressure of gas outages on domestic and industrial consumers, 100 MMCFD gas from the Hyderabad Gas Field will be put into the national system within a month, the petroleum and natural resources ministry secretary briefed the meeting, according to a statement issued in Islamabad.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) would immediately be given 15 MMCFD gas from the Kohat Gas Field, which would be put into the national system, the petroleum secretary further added. The government had taken emergency measures to address the gas shortage issue in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and has been able to resolve it to a large extent, he said.

Negotiations with the CNG association are underway to rationalise the supply of gas to CNG stations, the secretary said, adding that priority would be given to domestic consumers during these negotiations.

Negotiations would also be held with the industrial sector to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to households, he said.

The meeting was informed that 750 MMCFD of additional gas would be flowing into the system by November 2014 – sufficient for 40% of the country’s gas requirements.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Rashid
    Dec 23, 2011 - 11:33AM

    I bet, if this happens, this will be PPP’s last NAIL in the COFFIN….

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  • Syed Imran
    Dec 23, 2011 - 11:38AM

    Excellent decision. Its cars verses household

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  • Attif Abbas
    Dec 23, 2011 - 11:52AM

    Define the boundaries of Punjab in this case.

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  • Ammad
    Dec 23, 2011 - 12:23PM

    Excellent. Lets just hope opposition does not take this as an opportunity for politics, again!

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  • concerned
    Dec 23, 2011 - 12:23PM

    Why only Punjab, why doesn’t the government stop supply CNG throughout Pakistan ???

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  • Saher
    Dec 23, 2011 - 12:30PM

    i know it is going to be hard on the pockets of car owners, but people, car owners or not, need to live and people should understand that cng is a luxury Pakistan has, and should not make it their requirement.

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  • Dec 23, 2011 - 12:31PM

    Why only punjab? If they want to ban CNG, it should be nation wide.

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  • adnan
    Dec 23, 2011 - 12:36PM

    its good decision.gas used in transport is wastage.industry should be given priority because industry generates jobs and increases the exports

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  • umair
    Dec 23, 2011 - 2:18PM

    @Syed Imran:
    so the decision should be taken on karachi first, City that claims to occupy 40% vehicles of country.

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  • Faisal
    Dec 23, 2011 - 2:39PM

    Why only Punjab, they should ban CNG across the country and why not on Sindh. PPP govt is penalizing people of Punjab because they did not selected them in the polls.Recommend

  • imran
    Dec 23, 2011 - 2:54PM

    gas used in transport is not wastage it prevents inflation through increase in transportation costs of people, consumable goods (your food for example) and had goods. industry has alternate fuels to run their power plants. they are just being greedy and choosing to run their power plants on gas instead of furnace oil. the industries that use gas as part of their industrial processes should give up only an amount of gas that is proportionate to their usage (ex. if cement uses 3% of the national share then they should give up 3%). i’m sick of hearing how industry earns foreign exchange for the country. cng saves billions of USD every year for the country.Recommend

  • Athar Durrani
    Dec 23, 2011 - 3:12PM

    All this is being done to facilitate the sale of LPG. What about the people who have invested millions of rupees in this industry? and what about the petrol that the country will import to run cars? will that not be a bigger burden on the economy? I bet everyone is remembering the previous one. For the past 40 years we haven’t seen a better change every new government is worse then the previous one. Imran or Nawaz it doesn’t matter nothing will change.Recommend

  • asif
    Dec 23, 2011 - 3:26PM

    It not fair to stop gas of punjab only this ban must be at hole pakistan

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  • asif
    Dec 23, 2011 - 3:27PM

    very unfortunate for punjab

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  • Noor
    Dec 23, 2011 - 3:46PM

    PM should promise that Gas supply to industry will be ensured,

    the fruits of industrial activity to be transferred to commoners, i.e, by increasing exports,

    payment of energy related bills by govt, politicians, industrialists,

    stop CNG for other provinces as well, why Punjab alone?

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  • Dec 23, 2011 - 3:50PM

    @Faisal: The province of Sindh is the richest in many of the natural resources among the provinces of Pakistan. Sindh has been the largest producer of crude oil since many years, and now its newfound natural gas production is also on the rise, making it potentially the largest producer of oil and natural gas in Pakistan. Unfortunately Punjab is the largest consumer of oil and natural gas in Pakistan. Thus, Sindh has the prior rights over natural gas :)

    P.S: By the way, I am from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.

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  • fkamran
    Dec 23, 2011 - 4:26PM

    i totally agree with imran , actually large scale industrialists , LPG , LNG and petrol mafia want to shut down cng so that people convert cars to lpg which is much much more expensive and dangerours for cars . An ordinary person cannot import lpg so the big lpg mafias will benefit from that import and ordinary cng owner will have to buy lpg from lpg tycoons to sell . Textile industrialists are billionaires , they use gas for their generators and dont even pay bills , they are the one who r involved in gas theft . They have the agreement for only 9 month gas supply but they get gas for 12 months . Recommend

  • Bilal
    Dec 23, 2011 - 4:47PM

    Everyday, intermittently there is no Sui Gas in certain areas of Lahore. People are forced to expose themselves to risk by using LPG cylinders or fire wood to cook their food (which is also very expensive). THE GOVERNMENT, THEY ONLY KNOW HOW TO EMBEZZLE TAXPAYERS AND AID MONEY!Recommend

  • Ich Dien
    Dec 23, 2011 - 5:31PM

    @Ali Salman Alvi:
    Like you i am also from Lahore, i tend to consider myself educated too. But sometimes i fail to see the logic behind the decisions. Govt wants to ban CNG in punjab period I see no issues there but when during wheat shortage Govt of Punjab announces a ban on movement of wheat out side of Punjab there is lots of hue and cry from other provinces, WHY IS THAT?? after all Punjab is the largest producer of wheat and should have prior rights. There was even an issue over “legal” alcohol produced in Punjab not reaching Sindh in sufficient quantity some while ago
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/280341/supply-and-demand-booze-supply-runs-short-over-duty-standoff/

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  • Rao Abid Ali khan
    Dec 23, 2011 - 7:30PM

    It is high time that Govt is again pushing the poor segment of society under economic burdon, how they being thrashed to wall. .They r not realizing how many families are connected to this let me tell u if the decesion is impemented it would bring a lot of resentment against govt people might go to sucide if ban is implemented.the decesion is neither ipmlementable in any rtrospect. For God sake do not even think of going about closing of CNG stations.

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  • dr.adnan
    Dec 23, 2011 - 7:46PM

    Ive seen gas leaking from pipelines, water seeping from broken pipes. No one including this very public who are now complaining of lack of this valuable resource ever raised there voice then. A burgeoning population with a growth rate of more then 3 percent, can ill afford to waste precious resources which are bound to end some day. You can blame the govt for ill planning but cant blame them for depleted resources for which the people of this land are to be blamed.
    There is hardly a sense of conservancy amongst the public.

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  • Rao Abid Ali khan
    Dec 23, 2011 - 7:51PM

    why the decesion is being iplemented in Punjab.For God sake realize it for poor people like raksha drivers ,taxi drivers and daily dependent.

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  • Bilal
    Dec 23, 2011 - 9:29PM

    @Athar Durrani:
    on the other it does give us an idea of how stupid these investors were …frankly with such an over crowded market we can estimate how LOW our ROE will be. No sane/rational investor would invest in such a project thinking he will make money out of it unless of course you put 50%-70% discount – even Apple will think ten times before that much discount, chori karo daba k kartay raho chori. So in markets term it was their decision to enter the industry and hence they should bear the cost not the ENTIRE country. Recommend

  • Bilal
    Dec 23, 2011 - 9:33PM

    @Ali Salman Alvi:
    i think every Pakistani has the right on PAKISTANS’ natural resource not of sindh, punjab, kp, balochistan etc. Just like Punjab pays the highest amount in rs term the electricity bill hence subsidizing for other provinces. So this gas is for EVERY PAKISTANI not a province, they should be paid their royalty or whatever charges there are.

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  • Bilal
    Dec 23, 2011 - 9:35PM

    @Rao Abid Ali khan:
    come on just pay the extra amount and use your car efficiently. Would you be happy when cng prices come 80% of par to oil?

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  • muhammad tariq zafar
    Dec 24, 2011 - 1:08AM

    This is worst,Govt.failed to manage the system.They r pushingin the days of darkneses.Shame ful decision.

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  • abdus samad
    Dec 24, 2011 - 3:34AM

    Althought , its govt’s fault to put people in a comfort of cheap fuel in the form of CNG, now natural gas is not available for house hold cooking. To give gas to industry is ofcourse out of question in this winter season.
    The government should but a bimonthly ban on CNG stations immediately and gradually it should eliminate CNG For cars.

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  • Akhtar
    Dec 29, 2011 - 9:29AM

    The industrialist demand that gas should be given to them on priority. The fact is that these looters (industrialist) want cheaper fuel for their industry and they sell their product on the price of furnace oil. The common man suffers with the unavailability of CNG and the rich gets richest. That is why all this drama is going on. Wake up pakistanis, and save this country from these looters.

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  • aaa
    Jan 31, 2012 - 12:02PM

    CNG is a blessing as it the lifeline for Middle class and we will have to import about 15Billion oil which will push inflation to 20%.its not the gas shortage,its all about LPG mafiaRecommend

  • aaa
    Jan 31, 2012 - 12:05PM

    By the way total transportation usage of gas is just 7% while power plants consume 40% gas which is main issue.we donot use coal and instead the rental power is using gas and minister is getting the kick back.

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  • aaa
    Jan 31, 2012 - 12:11PM

    @Ali Salman Alvi:
    alvi sb natural resources are always for the whole country.Just think if punjab denies water to others and starts the dams unilaterly which will cost rs 2 per unit of electricity and all of punjab will get canal water for irrigation.so ur point is unvalid.

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