Masses, CNG and small industries deprived of gas due to CPPs

Islamabad: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Friday said influential Captive Power Plants (CPPs) lobby that wasted gas worth Rs 350 billion during the former government has now paralysed economy and masses for their petty gains.

The powerful owners of CPPs are responsible for electricity, gas and CNG load shedding in the country as they are getting large amount of gas on subsidized rates from the government without unjustifiably and illegally, it said.

The situation has worsened to an extent that supply of natural gas to power plants is being disconnected to divert gas to the CPPs which is worst form of exploitation of masses and resources, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA.

In a statement issued here Friday, he said that PML-N was opposed to provision of natural gas to CPPs on discounted rates and purchase of electricity on higher price when was in opposition and it had issued policy statements in this regard. However, CPPs continue to get gas to generate power for industrial purpose and sell it to the government.

Ghiyas Paracha said that CPP operators are getting gas 365 days a year in violation of 9-month agreement and selling electricity to government which is not only illegal but adversely impacting tens of millions of masses.

Former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in his Dec 09 verdict clearly stated, “However, as far as captive power plants are concerned, the policy must be revised and without any justification they cannot be allowed supply of gas to produce electricity because they supply electricity at much higher than the NEPRA rate instead of subsidized rate to NTDC. Therefore, the supply of gas to captive power plants should be revised to a lower priority and not at a subsidized rate,” informed Paracha.

He said that the SC’s decision has clarified the whole issue and exposed violators but the government is still not ready to take any action which is amazing.

The leader of the CNG sector said that as far as the rule of law is not implemented, the masses as well as economy would continue to limp and energy crisis would continue to aggravate.

Claims of the owners of private power plants regarding their efficiency remains an misrepresentation of facts as they have been wasting 70 to 80 per cent gas which can be verified in many reports of independent experts, some honest officials and consultants, he said.

The intensity of crisis would have been minimised to a great extent if government has not taken decision to cut supply of gas to efficient state-run power plants to please that group, he remarked.

He said that preventing gas theft and guaranteeing just distribution of resources can resolve problems which is being deliberately brushed aside.

Paracha said that masses would no longer tolerate their victimisation and annihilation of the CNG sector paying billion in taxes, providing jobs to millions, transportation facility to tens of millions and reducing oil import bill by around dollar two billion.

The conspiracy of gas distribution utilities hatched on the behest of politically connected CPP owners to reduce pressure in cities so that masses could be instigated stands exposed, he said.

Pakistan cannot afford to further compromise on the interests of economy and masses by selling subsidized gas to CPPs and buy costly electricity for them, said Paracha.