ISLAMABAD: After the agreement between CNG association and the government, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) issued new rates for compressed natural gas, showing less than a rupee per kg reduction in the prices.With the 72 paisa per kg reduction, CNG is selling at Rs73.58 per kg in the Potohar region (Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Gujar Khan), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
In Sindh, central and southern Punjab, the prices will be Rs69.24 per kg after the reduction of 38 paisa.
“We have started implementing the new prices soon after the issuance of a notification by Ogra on Wednesday evening,” said Raja Wasim, a senior member of the CNG association.
Since Thursday, Friday and Saturday are loadshedding days in the Potohar region, long queues of vehicles were seen at the filling stations in the twin cities.
However, many consumers expressed discontent over the meagre reduction in the rates. “It seems unrealistic that all the fuss was created for three days only to have a 72 paisa reduction,” said Arshad, a customer at a CNG station in Super Market where Mr Wasim was personally monitoring the sale.
Responding to the query, Mr Wasim said the petroleum ministry had proposed an increase of around Rs16 per kg in terms of gas infrastructure development cess.
“As a result of this increase, CNG would have been over Rs80 per kg,” he said, adding the government had planned to increase the rates in phases.
“The remaining portion was to be imposed in February as a cess. However, under the agreement, the prices have gone back instead of another raise next month.”
Therefore, the rates have been increased by around Rs7 per kg. The CNG prices are higher in the region compared to Sindh, central and southern Punjab due to the calorific value of the gas.
“The gas available in region I - KP, Balochistan and Potohar - has higher burning capacity; therefore, its price is Rs1,040 per GCV (gross calorific value ),” said an Ogra official, adding: “The natural gas being supplied to Sindh and the rest of Punjab has low burning capacity and is priced at Rs950 per GCV.”
The CNG sector had been on strike for three days all over Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over three issues, including the imposition of high cess.
Meanwhile, talking to Dawn, Ghiyas Paracha, the chairman of the CNG association, said cess had to be imposed on equitable basis. “After the cess, gas tariff for urea sector is around Rs300 per MMBTU (million British thermal unit), industries Rs507 per MMBTU while for the CNG sector it has reached Rs742 per MMBTU. It is unfair to impose higher cess on the CNG sector, he added.