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No CNG, citizens switch to petrol

07 January, 2013

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LAHORE: Gas supply to CNG stations by SNGPL remained suspended on Sunday, putting extra financial burden on the inflation-hit consumers, as the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) announced a countrywide protest against the situation from tomorrow (Tuesday).

The majority of CNG consumers were expecting opening of filling stations on Sunday, like the last week.

"I am here to get gas. Everyone had been saying that gas would be available on Sunday but it is strange that the government has completely closed the supply of fuel," Muhammad Ali, a CNG consumer, told our sources at a filling station in Gulberg. Another CNG consumer said that he had to spend extra Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 a week on petrol, means "I suffer a monthly loss of Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000".

"This is an unmanageable burden on my monthly budget and it has become harder to make both ends meets," he said.

All Pakistan CNG Association Chairman Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha has blamed Prime Minister's Adviser on Petroleum, Dr Asim Hussain, for the crisis and demanded he resign immediately.

He said his association would launch a peaceful protest against the government tomorrow (Tuesday).

APCNGA Punjab Chairman Capt (r) Shuja Anwar also told our sources that the association would hold a meeting tomorrow which would be followed by a protest demonstration.

"A large number of employees of CNG stations, whose jobs are at risk, and consumers would join our peaceful demonstrations in the city," he said.

He said the CNG sector was consuming only 8.34 percent of the total gas of the country as per a report submitted by SNGPL and OGRA to the Supreme Court.

He accused All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) of doing a propaganda against the CNG sector.

He said that APTMA's claim that the CNG sector was consuming 12.5 percent of the total gas was "baseless because our consumption is much low and saving is much higher".

"It is strange that the APTMA leadership has launched a series of false propaganda against the CNG sector and it wants to deprive us of our livelihood."

Anwar said there were 350 CNG stations in Lahore only and employees of these stations are at the risk of losing their jobs due to unavailability of gas.

APTMA Punjab Chairman Shahzad Ali Khan had told a press conference that there was "no comparison between the benefits of resuming gas supply to industry and the CNG sector".

"The textile industry gets 500MMCFT of gas out of total 4000MMCFT production, which accounts for the share of 12.5 percent while the CNG sector also consumes similar amount of gas. There are around 3,200 CNG stations in the SNGPL jurisdiction and the number of people employed by them is less than the number of employees at one textile mill," Shahzad said.

In return, he said, APTMA brings to country $12 billion foreign exchange in form of textile exports while the CNG sector could only manage to save $700 million in form of petrol expenditure savings.

End.

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