LAHORE, June 14: Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain on Thursday reassured the industry that the price differential between petrol and CNG would soon be reduced to 40 per cent from the existing 55 per cent.
The minister gave this assurance during a meeting with a delegation of the Save the Industry Forum, a recently formed alliance of powerful business lobbies, including the All- Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), the Independent Power Producers Advisory Council (IPPAC) and the Fertilisers Manufacturers Advisory Council (FMAC), that called on him on Thursday.
The forum was represented by textile industry leaders Gohar Ejaz and Mohsin Aziz, fertilizer manufacturers’ representative Fawad Mukhtar and power sector’s Shahid Abdullah.
The business leaders complained that growth in demand for CNG was escalating because of price differential between the two fuels, which, in turn, was creating gas shortages for the export-oriented industry, power producers and fertiliser manufacturers.
They argued that CNG growth demand, which stands at 450-500mmcfd at present, could not be curbed without raising its price and bringing it at par with petrol prices.
Diversion of gas to more productive power plants could bring the electricity price down by Rs3 a unit from the current Rs12 a unit providing relief to consumers and bridging the circular debt, they told the minister.
They further stated that supply of gas to the textile industry would boost fresh investment in the sector, create new jobs and increase exports by a whopping $4 billion a year.
Similarly, the government could save up to Rs50 billion by ensuring optimal use of domestic fertilizer manufacturing industry through provision of gas, raw material used for urea production, to them.
The minister stated that the government was taking steps to curb CNG demand to provide more gas to the industrial sector.
He said that the government was aware of difficultiesfacing the industry because of the rising demand of gas for filling car tanks due to its price differential with petrol.
“We will soon raise the CNG price to 60 per cent of petrol, which will discourage its use as an alternate for petrol,” he was quoted to have informed the delegation.