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Govt. aggravating CNG crisis on purpose: Paracha

Karachi:The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Monday said that energy bureaucracy has deliberately complicated the simple issue of CNG pricing after the landmark decision of the Supreme Court (SC) in a bid to deprive masses of economical fuel, reward influential sectors and pave way for additional imports of costly fossil fuel.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), independent auditors and parliamentarians have accepted that current retail price of CNG is not sustainable but at the same time nation is being misguided regarding excessive profit margins of CNG operators, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA.

Speaking to a press conference at a local hotel, he expressed disappointment over repeated statements by top government functionaries to phase-out CNG sector which is using only six per cent of the total gas production.

He said that following the people-friendly verdict of the SC no one tried to understand the issue while some elements in the government used all their energies to confuse the situation to turn judiciary and masses against the CNG sector.
Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha asked the President and Prime Minister to take note of the plot which is hurting owners of 3.5 million vehicles using CNG, proprietors and staff of 3400 CNG outlets and millions of commuters.

He said that authorities are deliberately delaying announcement of the prices and implementation of report prepared by auditors to sabotage the Supreme Court decision, enrage masses and cripple CNG operators financially.

We have a right to ask why we were forced for an agreement in 2008, now how this agreement has been scraped unilaterally and who directed Ogra to reduce prices to unmanageable levels, said Paracha.
He said that the SC had also raised objections on wellhead prices and directed a forensic audit but no move has been initiated in this direction.

Paracha said that government is buying gas at Rs 18 and Rs 850 per unit from different wells located in the same area while the difference is adjusted through cross-subsidy.
Government is buying gas from Qadirpur field at $2.56 per mmbtu while it is paying 8.5 dollars to Kadan Wari gas field for the same which merits a probe, he demanded.

Now, energy ministry has initiated efforts to increase the buying price of gas from producers which will put an additional burden of Rs 122 billion on masses which is a conspiracy.

Government is presenting cooked statistics against CNG sector using 6 per cent of the gas to reward influential sectors reaping benefits of their contacts with those who matter the most, he said.

He rejected decisions and statements regarding imposing additional taxes on CNG operators, barring vehicle owners from buying CNG, closing down filling stations for two months during winter, cancellation of licences of stations using extra gas, reducing operational cost to zero and closing down 400 CNG stations.

He said that we are also Pakistanis, we have a right to live and we will never compromise on interests of masses.

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