CNG filling station operators highlight discrimination in gas supply
KARACHI: The operators of the compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations have taken the issue of discrimination in gas supply with the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), a statement said.
The CNG Associations’ leadership informed the FPCCI chief that 70 to 80 favourite CNG filling stations of the authorities are still getting indigenous gas at Rs1,350/mmbtu and all of the rest at Rs2,040/mmbtu, excluding tax. This is a huge discrimination and unfair practice.
Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, president of the FPCCI, expressed concern over the ever-increasing and now unsustainable losses to the CNG filling stations in Sindh due to the government policies, re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG)-linked CNG pricing regime, chronic gas load-shedding for the CNG filling stations and favouritism in supplying indigenous gas to serve vested interests.
The FPCCI chief said huge investments by the CNG filling stations are in jeopardy and on the verge of closure, as the very economic sense of using CNG has been nullified, as the CNG filling stations in Sindh are forced to sell CNG upwards at Rs150/kg and up to Rs165/kg.
It is worrisome that some 70 to 80 CNG filling stations are still getting indigenous gas and the rest are being discriminated against and rendered uncompetitive.
Maggo said that the public transport in the province was already in a dilapidated state and inflated CNG will further make it inaccessible to the common man.
He said CNG is an alternative fuel and the entire notion becomes irrelevant if it becomes costlier than the conventional petroleum fuels.
Junaid Makda, convener of the FPCCI’s Standing Committee on LNG and Natural Resources, said that the cost-effective and environment-friendly fuel of CNG is in an existential crisis and it will result in huge unemployment due to the closures of the CNG filling stations.
He also said that the sales tax has been increased from 5 per cent to 17 per cent on CNG filling stations and has added an additional burden on the profitability and sustainability of the sector.
Abdul Sami Khan, chairman of the CNG Dealers Association, said that the CNG filling station owners invested billions of rupees to establish this eco-friendly fuel sector in Pakistan to support various government initiatives and now the government has abandoned it.
Shabbir Sulemanjee of the CNG Dealers Association said: “We agreed to RLNG regime with SSGC [Sui Southern Gas Company] on the premises that [the] CNG [filling] stations will get uninterrupted gas supply, tax incentives and reduced prices; however, everything has been turned upside down and exact opposite treatment has been meted to [the] CNG [filling] stations.
Maggo, as President of the FPCCI, extended his full support to the leaders of the CNG Dealers Association to play a mediatory role from the platform of the FPCCI to resolve all the outstanding issues with the government authorities swiftly and reach a win-win mechanism on fair pricing and uninterrupted supply.
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