SC ruling cheers consumers: CNG dealers express reservations
KARACHI, Oct 25: A reduction of Rs30.89 per kg in the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) by the government on the order of the Supreme Court stunned the CNG stakeholders on Thursday.
“We respect and accept the Supreme Court’s decision and have also implemented the decision regarding cut in prices of green fuel all over the country,” chairman CNG Station Owners Association Chairman Malik Khuda Bux claimed rejecting the reports of going on strike on Friday.
He said that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had called upon a hearing on October 30 in Islamabad on the CNG-related issues. The association will discuss the pricing in the hearing.
Chairman CNG Dealers Association Abdul Sami Khan welcomed the decision regarding cut in tax on CNG but said the sharp decline in profitability would collapse the sector.
He said the Supreme Court had taken the decision without consulting the stakeholders. “We are bound to suffer heavy losses,” he said adding that so far there is no plan to go on strike.
“We have to curtail the staff as we cannot sustain huge losses after reduction in the profit,” he said, adding that a big CNG outlet usually employs at least 18-20 people including engineer while a medium size pump has at least 14 employees. Downsizing will be the only way to remain profitable.
Around four million cars and other vehicles are running on CNG and they fill the cheap fuel from over 3,000 stations across the country.
Chairman Consumer Association of Pakistan Kaukab Iqbal said that the Supreme Court’s decision has literally enlivened hopes among the consumers who are already perturbed over their rising cost of living.
He said consumers now eye Supreme Court to take notice of rising petrol, diesel and LPG prices. Besides, he requested the court to also look into the matter regarding surging power and gas rates and its impact on the end users.
President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Haroon Agar while cheering up court’s decision requested the Supreme Court to also look into the matter regarding petroleum prices which had declined by more than $10 per barrel on the world market.
He also requested the court to consider issues of electricity and natural gas.
Many consumers feel that the issue of two to three days load shedding of CNG should also be resolved. Gas load shedding is creating a lot of problems for many people who have to keep petrol ready in larger quantities in their vehicles.
As a result the sale of petrol is showing positive growth every month while the country is also importing petrol.