During a joint press conference on Thursday by the top leadership of CNG associations including Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha Central Chairman of All Pakistan CNG Association, Abdul Sami Khan Chairman CNG Dealers Association and Malik Khuda Bukhsh Chairman CNG Owners Association while announcing ‘indefinite strike’ from 6th June if the government passes hike in CNG price bill and imposes more cess tax in the budget adding this increase will result in Rs950 per MMBTU gas rate for the commodity widely used by middle and lower middle classes among others in the country and we will never accept it. They all were unanimous that if Cess is necessary than should be imposed by the government on equal basis for all categories of the consumers. LPG was never ever found successful in past nor it might be in future and LPG can never be the substitute of the CNG. They further blamed that Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP&NR) is misleading nation about actual consumption of the CNG sector. They also said that this increase would discourage the CNG business in the country though at present 3.5 million vehicles are on the road.
“If govt passes these bills than we will launch three staged protest plan of protest demonstrations and strikes. In first phase we will stage protest demonstration in (Islamabad 31 May), (Lahore 1st June), (Karachi 2nd June), (Multan 3rd June), (Faisalabad/Jang 3rd June), (Gujranwala/Gujrat 4th June) while in 2nd phase if government does not accept our demands than all CNG stations of Pakistan would go for indefinite strike,” the CNG associations announced, adding, that in 3rd phase all petrol pumps will also be closed along with CNG stations.
Ghiyas Paracha Chairman APNGA while chairing this press conference said the Petroleum Ministry is misleading nation by saying that CNG sector is consuming 14 per cent of the gas.
He said the facts spoke otherwise about the figure, which stood at only 8 percent of the gas. He said this small share of gas could solve only 10 percent electricity crisis. We have given a comprehensive drive out plan of energy crisis to govt, which can solve gas problem of the country in six months, Ghiyas Paracha said, adding that the MP&NR is all out to benefit ‘four LPG tycoons’ and one LNG company by taking measures to promote LPG business at the cost of CNG.
Meanwhile, all three CNG associations organised a rally and blocked Jinnah Avenue for a while and chanted slogans against the expected raise in Cess and CNG price.