PESHAWAR: The business community has demanded of the government to reduce the price of compressed natural gas like petroleum products to provide relief to the CNG dealers and consumers.

The demand was made by Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Maqsood Pervaiz and CNG Association provincial president Fazal Muqeem Khan after a joint meeting by video link here on Saturday.

The SCCI chief demanded of Prime Minister Imran Khan to include the CNG sector in his financial package saying the sector has suffered a lot due to the lockdown enforced by the government after the outbreak of coronavirus.

He said reduction should be made in gas tariff to Rs780 per MMBTU (special gas tariff) for CNG sector to bring about a parity between CNG and petrol prices, while sales tax on gas cost should be charged only at the rate of 17 per cent, while four per cent income tax exemption should be offered.

SCCI chief says PM financial package should cover CNG sector

Mr Pervaiz said the government should allow the payment of the next gas bill in four equal installments to protect the CNG industry from the impact of coronavirus outbreak.

He said the special relief financial package would not only prevent the CNG industry from further damages but it would also maintain parity between CNG and petrol prices.

Fazal Muqeem said the government should announce at least 40 per cent reduction in gas tariff and stop the collection of additional taxes. He said the government had announced 17 per cent sales tax but it was collecting up to 32 per cent sales tax.

“The CNG price should be reduced by at least Rs15 per kg,” he said. The CNG Association leader said most private and passenger vehicles used CNG, so if the government reduced the CNG rate, it would provide relief to the common man.

The SCCI chief welcomed the reduction of petrol and diesel prices up to Rs15 per litre and said the initiative had provided relief to the people and industries.

“For the last one decade, the gas tariff has gone up by 71 per cent after the imposition of various taxes on the CNG sector. Under the current circumstances, the investors won’t be able to continue with their business leading to the layoff of workers,” he said.

Mr Pervaiz aid said a large number of CNG stations had closed down in the province due to high taxes, the government’s unfriendly economic policy and other issues.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2020

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