SNGPL has suspended gas supply to CNG stations in Punjab and KP for an indefinite period, to overcome the gas shortage in the country.
“Owing to increase in domestic sector gas consumption and reduction in regas rates, it has been decided that gas /RLNG supply to CNG stations across SNGPL franchise area (both Punjab & KP) may be suspended with immediate effect in line with Cabinet decision on load management 2021-22,” said a notification issued here by SNGPL. It is further requested that suspension of gas supplies to CNG stations may be ensured by 4pm Monday, the notification further said.
All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has rejected the decision of the Cabinet to suspend supply of gas to the CNG stations in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for an indefinite period. It was illegal for SNGPL to cut off gas supply to CNG stations in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it said.
The decision has been taken on a 17-year-old load management policy devised in 2005 which has now no legal standing, said Group Leader of APCNGA Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha. In a statement issued here, he said that the ineffective policy was introduced in 2005 for two years and taking decisions on the basis of this policy is illegal while the Cabinet has been misguided in this regard. He said that CNG stations in Punjab are using RLNG therefore these filling stations do not fall in the ambit of any such policy. Ghiyas Paracha said that the decision to disconnect CNG stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is also illegal and contempt of court as the Peshawar High Court has issued a stay order in this regard.
He said that if the locally produced natural gas is scarce then load management should target consumers of national gas and not the sectors using imported gas, paying highest taxes and highest price for the gas.
He said that the CNG sector is not being allowed to import gas for their own consumption while the government is not ready to give it local gas which has left this sector in deep trouble and its survival is at stake.
He said that once the CNG industry of Pakistan was among the leading industries and other countries used to seek help from Pakistan to introduce CNG in their countries but now it is at the brink due to a host of reasons including some elements that are bent upon destroying it.
He said that those who are damaging this sector should be held accountable and a strict action should be taken against them as the livelihood of millions of people is tied to this sector. Suspending gas supply to CNG stations will increase oil import bill by billions and intensify the problem of air pollution and smog, he warned. The minister of petroleum should state who will be responsible for the damage caused by the closure of a small gas consuming sector.
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