CNG too becomes costlier

Published November 17, 2021
This file photo shows a CNG station in Karachi. — Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
This file photo shows a CNG station in Karachi. — Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: The price of compressed natural gas (CNG) has further gone up by Rs6.89 per litre in Punjab and Rs10.30 per kg in other provinces following an increase in sales tax by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), stakeholders said on Tuesday.

In the first week of October, CNG price in Sindh was raised by Rs15 per kg, followed by an increase of Rs8 per litre in Punjab.

“The new price of CNG in Karachi has swelled up to Rs200 per kg,” All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) Coordinator for Sindh Zone Samir Najmul Hussain said, recalling that CNG was available at Rs123 per kg in Sindh in the second quarter of this year which rose to Rs185-195 per kg last month due to costly purchase of regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG).

“CNG still provides a saving of five per cent if compared to the vehicle running on petrol as the fossil fuel price had been persistently on the rise,” said Mr Hussain.

He went to add that 500 CNG stations in Sindh were finding it hard to run their business due to continuous drop in savings compared to petrol.

The price of petrol has also been going up from April owing to rising international crude oil prices and rupee devaluation against the dollar. Petrol was selling at Rs108 per litre in April compared to its current price of Rs145.82 per litre.

Talking to Dawn, APCNGA Group Leader Ghiyas Paracha said the new rate of CNG in Punjab surged by Rs6.89 per litre to Rs140 per litre, followed by Rs10.30 per kg in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan due to a hike in GST.

“In a notification issued by the FBR on November 15, 2021 relating to sales tax, the base price in the Region 2 has changed to Rs134.57 per kg from Rs74.04 per kg while for the Region 1, the base price has been fixed at Rs128.11 as compared to Rs69.57 per kg,” he said.

“Running vehicles on gas will still ensure 8-9pc savings to the vehicles’ owners in view of rising price trend in petrol,” he said confidently.

“The government is reducing GST on petrol while raising it on CNG which is unjustified. The government should refrain from increasing taxes and victimising gas users in view of record high rates of LNG and losing rupee value against the dollar,” the APCNGA group leader said.

He feared a further jump in transportation charges which would directly affect consumers. Pakistan’s import bill of petrol is expected to further rise.

In Karachi, private transporters owners have already passed on the impact of previous jump in CNG rates by raising fare by Rs5-10 depending on the routes, while the operators of rickshaws have recently increased the rates by Rs10.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2021

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