LPG sector demands bailout package

Official laments 70% of business has come to a standstill

APP May 02, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Industries Association Pakistan (LPGIAP) on Friday demanded a bailout package from the government amid economic slowdown caused due to the spread of coronavirus across the country.

"The LPG sector is suffering a loss of around Rs500 million on a monthly basis after the federal and provincial governments ordered lockdown in the wake of coronavirus," said LPGIAP Chairman Irfan Khokhar while talking to APP. "Around 70% of our business has come to a standstill."

Detailing further, he said 70% of LPG's total supplies were utilised by the automobile sector, industries, hotels and restaurants, tandoors and marriage halls all of which were now shutdown owing to preventive measures taken to contain the spread of the virus. He pointed out that nearly 300 LPG marketing companies were operating in the country and providing jobs to around 200,000 people.

"It is difficult for them to pay salaries to their employees and bear other expenses for months without having any business," he said.

Citing the hardships being faced by the LPG industry, he requested the government to waive levy tax, advance tax and general sales tax for at least one year to mitigate the financial sufferings faced by the sector.

Terming LPG fuel of the poor, Khokhar urged the government to devise an effective strategy to control the commodity price as purchasing power of domestic consumers, especially in remote areas, had started declining due to the prevailing economic situation of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2020.

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