PESHAWAR: The members of All Pakistan CNG Owners Association on Tuesday held a protest demonstration and urged federal government to announce a special gas tariff relief for the CNG sector and cut in price of natural gas on pattern of petroleum products.

The protestors, led by provincial president of association Fazal Muqeem, were holding banners and placards. They gathered outside Peshawar Press Club and chanted slogans for decrease in gas price.

Talking to journalists, Mr Muqeem said that on one hand the prolonged lockdown caused irreparable financial losses to the CNG sector and on the other government frequently slashed price of petrol and ignored CNG stations.

He said that CNG sector was a prime source of employment for many people.He asked the government to take steps to help that important sector survive.

Mr Muqeem demanded reduction in gas tariff to Rs700 per MMBUTU (special gas tariff) for CNG sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that special relief financial package would not only prevent the CNG industry from a further decline or closure but it would also maintain parity between CNG and petrol.

The association leader said that the petroleum prices were gradually decreasing in the global market so it was essential to maintain parity between CNG and petrol under the prevailing scenario.

He said that CNG stations, CNG plants and cylinder makers were attached with that important sector. He said that that tax revenue would also increase with enhancement of CNG sale. He also asked for withdrawal of gas infrastructure development cess. He said that people associated with the CNG sector were facing severe financial problems.

Mr Muqeem said business community had invested at least Rs400 billion in CNG sector and in case of its decline, the government would be unable to collect billions of rupees taxes.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020

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