ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has threatened closure of CNG stations and petrol pumps across the country on Friday if the petroleum ministry does not roll back a proposed plan to hike gas prices by enhancing the rate of the Gas Infrastructure Development Surcharge (GIDS).
While addressing a press conference, APCNGA Central Chairman Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha demanded that the government announce a reduction in gas load shedding for the CNG sector, and shelve plans to increase CNG prices. Paracha termed the proposal to impose a higher GIDS to increase CNG price a conspiracy to crush the CNG industry.
“We will close down all CNG and petrol pumps in the country to register our protest,” he said; adding that a final programme for the strike and sit-in will be announced on Tuesday next week.
“Around 4 million vehicles rely on CNG, and the sector consumes only 7% of gas available in the country,” he said. He revealed that the CNG sector contributes 21% to revenues, which makes it one of the most profitable sectors for the government. “We will not let the LPG mafia disturb 50 million consumers, as CNG is an economical facility for the lower income groups of the country,” he asserted.
He said the CNG association had submitted a comprehensive formula to enhance government’s revenue and resolve the energy crisis. The plan provisioned Rs78 billion in additional monthly revenues, which would also resolve circular debt effectively, he claimed. He said that LPG was available in the summer season only; whereas imported LPG was substandard and not feasible even if it was provided to the public free of cost.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2012.
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