ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the sub-committee of the federal cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday decided to include representatives of consumers and owners in policy formulation for setting of CNG prices.
The committee met with Law Minister Farooq H Naek in the chair and was attended by Secretary Cabinet Nargis Sethi, Chairman Ogra Saeed Ahmed Khan, Chairman Supreme Council of All Pakistan CNG Association Ghayas Paracha and Chairman CNG Dealers Association Abdul Sami Khan.
However, Advisor to Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain and Secretary Petroleum could not attend the meeting and DG Gas represented the ministry.
Talking to the newsmen after the meeting, Farooq H Naek said the committee has been mandated to formulate guidelines to be followed by the Ogra to set the CNG price as under law, the authority is bound to fix prices on the basis of policy guidelines provided by the federal government.
He said the committee is supposed to formulate guidelines after consultation with all stakeholders and viewed that the committee lacked representation of owners and the consumers that should be ensured.
“As the consumers and the owners are also the stakeholders, we have decided to summon them in the next meeting scheduled on Wednesday,” Naek told reporters.
He said after evolving consensus, the guidelines would be forwarded to the ECC and later the federal cabinet that would direct Ogra to fix CNG price.
He said after fixing the price, Ogra would apprise the Supreme Court that had directed it to fix the price being the competent authority.
To a question, the law minister said the committee would finalize the guidelines within days as all the stakeholders have been asked to come up with a working paper to avoid any controversies in the future.
The law minister observed that the issue was complicated; however, the committee meetings have been started to resolve it consensually.
He told the reporters that the committee would also consider the proposal of the petroleum ministry of restricting the filling of CNG in up to 1000cc vehicles however the foremost agenda was setting of the price.
Sami Khan expressed satisfaction over the conduct of the committee head as well as the secretary cabinet and hoped that the issue would resolve soon.
However, he expressed concern over absence of both the petroleum advisor and the secretary petroleum despite being the main stakeholder.
Ghayas Paracha said the committee has agreed to the proposal that any price to be fixed by OGRA should be backed by a certain law to avoid any blackmailing and loss to any stakeholder.
He said the CNG price can be reduced remarkably if the ministry reduces taxes on the product as around 90 per cent of the price falls under purview of the ministry.