Sarhad chamber to challenge RLNG levy

Officials say charges are an injustice as K-P produces surplus natural gas

Sohail Khattak April 19, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) business community has decided to challenge the levy of Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) on industrial and commercial units in the Peshawar High Court.

Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) representatives expressed concerns over the RLNG charges by SNGPL and called the step an injustice with the province, which is producing surplus natural gas than its own use.

“RLNG is for those provinces that are gas-deficient. It should not be applicable to K-P consumers since it generates more than its own needs,” said the SCCI President Zahidullah Shinwari during a press conference on Wednesday.

“This is an extra burden on the already fragile industries of K-P, which are on the verge of closure. It is not affordable and I am sure more units will be closed owing to this extra burden,” he said.

“We are taking this issue to the Peshawar High Court since it is against the rights given to us by Article-158 of the constitution. We are also taking the issue with our political leadership to join us in our struggle.”

Shinwari was concerned about the negative impact of RLNG charges on industry in the province since almost all the units have turned their systems to gas and they would all be burdened. “It will shut 70% of the industry in the province and thousands of people would be jobless.”

He was also worried about the state of business and trade due to shrinking trade with Afghanistan in the wake of cross-border tension and the recently-imposed regulatory duty over import items.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2018.

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