ECC help sought: Politicians protecting bulk gas users
ISLAMABAD, Oct 22: The All-Pakistan CNG Association has alleged that some influential politicians are protecting the interests of bulk gas users, including the captive power plants, at the cost of the CNG sector.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) should take input from all stakeholders before taking a decision on CNG pricing, as the compact natural gas is a key fuel for the middle class across the country, said Ghiyas Paracha, Chairman, All-Pakistan CNG Association, at a press conference.
The association sought withdrawal of CNG pricing on weekly basis and termed it illegal.
“Only Ogra can determine gas prices under the law and that too on six monthly basis; therefore any weekly price review of CNG is illegal,” said Mr Paracha.
The CNG sector’s has made this demand as the
ECC is expected to take up two summaries relating to natural gas, the first one relates to increase in the price of CNG by around 34 per cent, while the second summary seeks discontinuation of gas supply to captive power plants.
Ghiyas Paracha said that influentials in politics were safeguarding the interest of only 113 captive power plants, which consume more gas than the CNG sector across the country.
He said that official record suggests that captive power plants consume 445 mmcfd gas as against the 289 mmcfd, by the CNG sector.
Mr Paracha said that 113 captive power consumers include textile tycoons, politicians and seven members in the boards of SNGPL and SSGC.
The CNG sector declined to give names, but said that they have a list of 26 MNAs and nine ministers which would be presented in the court of law if the government continued its favour to these influential families.
“Natural gas is not for rich only to further their wealth, as gas rates for captive power plants are cheaper, he said, adding “if government stops providing gas to captive power plants at cheaper rates, 50 per cent of gas load-shedding can be brought down.”
Gas rate for captive power plants is Rs494.86 per mmbtu while the same for CNG is more than Rs700 per mmbtu, he said, adding that the government was moving to increase the CNG prices further.
Advisor to prime minister on petroleum, Dr Asim Hussain, confirmed to Dawn that his ministry had forwarded a summary to increase CNG prices to 80 per cent of the price of petrol.
He rejected the plans made by the petroleum ministry to increase the CNG prices indirectly by linking its price with 80 per cent parity of petrol.
“The existing price parity against petrol is 60 per cent, and if this parity is raised to 80 per cent, CNG would become costlier than petrol,” he said.
The APCNG office-bearers said that move to supply 225 mmcfd gas to fertiliser plants was also a favour to the influential as the government has decided to lay down 1,000 km gas pipe line, to be financed from the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess.
“This cess has been levied on all consumers, including the CNG sector, to support the infrastructure for import of LNG and not to favour the private sector plants,” Mr Paracha said.