LAHORE, Jan 17: The All Pakistan CNG Association rejected on Thursday a decision by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to mix air in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and pump it in the gas pipelines to reduce gas shortages.

The move is against national interests which is a conspiracy to benefit a few influentials which would deprive the masses of Rs60 billion annually, said CNG body’s supreme council chairman Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha.

He said the implementation of the controversial decision would increase the cost of doing business and leave their products uncompetitive in the international markets which would put additional strain on forex reserves and amplify trade deficit.

The decision would result in the closure of thousands of businesses, unemployment and the law and order issues, he added.

Mr Paracha said the decision despite the resistance of Ogra would increase cost of gas by 10 per cent which would jack up price of roti as well as cost of living driving millions more below the poverty line.

The leader of the CNG sector said that a massive scandal was in the making and the Supreme Court should take note of the development to safeguard the interests of the masses before it was too late.

He said Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Dr Asim Husain seemed just interested in promoting mafias and pointing towards problems but he had failed to resolve anything owing to the lack of interest and basic knowledge.

He said the LPG-air mix decision was either the result of lack of understanding of the decision makers or they were simply interested in promoting the interests of few which merited a probe.

Mr Paracha said the direct use of liquefied petroleum gas would be more economical while mixing it in the pipeline would increase its cost more than the furnace oil.

No country except for Argentina was using air-mix plants as it is the costliest solution of gas shortages in the presence of the cost-effective ways out, he said.

Raising questions over the pace of implementation of the decision, he said the CNG body rejected the government’s claim that the decision would not burden domestic consumers.

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