MULTAN: Till not too long ago, the government was promoting the use of LPG as a comparatively lower-priced fuel. The rates of LPG were low compared with other types of fuel. The idea clearly was to attract more and more people to using this fuel. This was similar to the case of CNG, which was heavily promoted by successive governments as a cheap alternative fuel, and one friendly to the environment.
Many people switched their vehicles to CNG as well and the country saw a boom in the CNG kit installation industry and many CNG filling stations opened up. However, in recent months, the price of CNG has increased considerably, so much so that the differential it enjoyed compared with petrol hardly exists.
Understandably, those who sell and buy CNG are upset because they fear that the government intends to phase out the use of CNG as a fuel. Those who own CNG filling stations say that the government wants to destroy their business and ask that why were they encouraged to invest in this in the first place if the long-term goal was to phase out the use of CNG as a fuel.
Also, I would add that the price of LPG remains relatively low compared with other types of fuel, and this is mainly because of the government’s check on it. Why cannot this be done also for CNG, especially given that millions of middle class people use it as fuel?
Sher Muhammad Khan
Bahauddin Zakariya University
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2012.
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