ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan CNG Association on Thursday said the imposition of new and additional taxes on LNG will increase the price of CNG by up to Rs9 per kg.

“The move will result in the closure of hundreds of CNG stations leaving hundreds of thousands of employees jobless as the alternative fuel will be rendered uncompetitive,” said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, a central leader of the association.

In a statement, Mr Paracha said the imposition of gas development surcharge and the increase in other taxes will jeopardise the huge investments made in the CNG sector.

“Such a move will send a negative message to the investors in the energy sector,” Mr Paracha said and added that the government was providing affordable energy to many sectors with a focus on the export industry but the reduction in import bill is also necessary to reduce the trade gap for which promotion of CNG is necessary.

Mr Paracha noted that almost all the sectors were provided relief in the recent budget but the CNG sector was subjected to harsh treatment.

He said the reduced petroleum levy was promoting usage of petrol and diesel while CNG was paying for this policy and a further hike in CNG price will be devastating.

“The CNG sector is paying the highest direct taxes and full price for LNG and its closure can hit the LNG project worth billions as CNG is the only sector buying LNG without any subsidy or discount,” he said.

The closure of the CNG sector will increase pollution, jack up fares of public transport, increase the oil import bill and budget deficit. He said the decision to introduce new taxes and increasing existing taxes should be reversed or the CNG sector should be given local gas at subsidised rates.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021

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