Ramazan relief: CNG station operators demand 12-hour supply

Seek govt’s nod to run business for five days a week.

Our Correspondent June 25, 2014

KARACHI: Operators of compressed natural gas (CNG) stations have pressed the government to provide gas for 12 hours every day for five days a week during Ramazan in order to ease the sufferings of vehicle owners.

People could not wait in queues for hours to get fuel while fasting during Ramazan, underscoring the need for taking such a decision, it said.

“Water supply has improved in rivers, causing an increase in hydroelectric power generation, therefore the petroleum ministry should honour its promise of allowing CNG outlets to work for five days a week from 5am to 5pm,” said Ghayas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council of All Pakistan CNG Association in a statement.

He pointed out that all other sectors were not facing any restrictions as they could work for seven days a week, but CNG filling stations had been forced to run for only two days in a week in many areas of the country. “This is destroying the industry that provides employment to hundreds of thousands of people and affordable transportation for millions.”

Paracha suggested that the government should revise CNG retail prices after considering new taxes, increasing electricity bills and other expenses, adding if prices stayed at the same level it would be difficult to keep running the business from July.

“The cost of doing business has increased substantially after the budget, which will lead to closure of many filling stations,” he warned.

Calling for creating an enabling environment, Paracha stressed that despite new taxes, higher power tariff and increase in gas infrastructure development cess, CNG would still be cheaper compared to petrol.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2014.

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