According to informed circles, in a bid to discourage CNG business in the country, following the proposal of a massive hike of Rs 15 per kg in CNG prices from the next financial year under the head Gas Infrastructure Development Surcharge (GIDS), the cash starved government has proposed imposition of 10 per cent levy on the import of CNG buses in fiscal year 2012-13, a move which would resultantly discourage the use of CNG in transport sector.
With this move it has become very clear that influential lobby, backed by ‘LPG mafia’, is influencing the government to promote business of expensive LPG in the country. They were of the view that the PPP-led coalition government would not let the PML-N led Punjab government to secure common public sympathies ahead of general election by introducing a great number of CNG buses in its capital city as it is already working on a plan to introduce environment friendly public transport in Lahore in near future ostensibly to provide cheap transport facility to the general public.
Reportedly, during the last decade, gas production had been increased by only 7 percent, while its consumption increased by 40 percent per annum. Resultantly, CNG sector is identified as the major user of gas whose consumption has increased by 39 percent per annum during the last decade.
It is to be noted here that All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) the other day, while warning severe agitation if government imposes more levy on the industry and does not pay attention to its demands, which in result would bring relief for consumers, demanded of the government to announce reduction in gas loadshedding, take back price increase of Rs 11.50 per kg, roll back proposed cess tax (GIDS) besides no more hike in prices and tax for CNG sector. The association also warned the government to refrain from imposing more levy on the sector otherwise all CNG stations and petrol pumps of the country will be closed down in strike. “The proposal of imposing another surcharge will crush CNG industry,” the association said, adding, that “CNG sector consumes only 7 per cent of gas while it generates 21 per cent revenue for national exchequer.”