CNG association calls off strike
11 June, 2012
LAHORE: All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has called off its strike after getting assurances that its grievances will be addressed, a private TV channel reported on Sunday.
Addressing a press conference, APCNGA Chairman Ghayas Paracha said that the association had decided to end the strike on the assurance given by Federal Petroleum Minister Asim Hussain of resolution of their issues. However, he warned the strike would be resumed in case no effective step was taken in three days.
Replying to a question, he said the purpose of the strike was to contain the spiraling rates of CNG. However, he apologised to the people as they were deprived of cheap vehicular fuel during the whole week.
Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Multan and other cities had faced major trouble as the CNG remained unavailable during the last five days with a few filling stations providing supply to the consumers in urban areas and some on highways.
Earlier, Paracha and Punjab leader Caption Shuja Anwar vowed to continue the strike despite pressure from the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), All Pakistan Textile Manufacturers Association (APTMA), fertiliser companies and other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has decided to purchase additional 35,000 tonnes of petrol to meet the future requirement, sources told our sources.
It is note worthy that major gas stakeholders, including SNGPL and APCNGA, have indulged in blame game while APTMA and fertiliser sector had also urged the association to end its strike.
The SNGPL also said that on the call of APCNGA, the strike was being observed against proposed Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) through the finance bill, but it clarified that no new cess was being levied.
Moreover, in a joint press briefing with Fertiliser Association and Independent Power Producers Advisory Council under the cover of Save Pakistan Industry Forum (SPIF), the APTMA members said that the number of people employed with CNG sector is merely 20,000, which is much lower if compared with industrial sector.
They said that APCNGA has started campaign in shape of strike rallies against their peaceful movement. Had strikes helped increase gas quota, the industrial workforce would have been on roads until now, they said. Earlier, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CNG Association on Sunday announced the end of strike after holding successful negotiations with Senator Ilyas Bilour. The announcement was made by president of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CNG Association, Pervaiz Khattak, during a press conference also attended by Bilour.
Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain on Sunday said that there was no shortage of petroleum in the country.
He said that artificial shortage of petroleum was created in some parts of the country and added that action would be taken against the petrol pump owners who were allegedly involved in creating the artificial shortage.