Energy bureaucracy complicated the simple issue of CNG prices after SC decision: Paracha

Islamabad: 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 while addressing a press conference.

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.

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. 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. 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.