Price hike: CNG dealers, ministry to hold crucial talks today

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 4:30:09 by

ISLAMABAD: Compressed natural gas (CNG) dealers, while terming the recent increase in gas prices illegal, have announced that they will go on a strike across the country if negotiations with the ministry of petroleum do not succeed today (Tuesday).

Speaking at a press conference here on Monday, All Pakistan CNG Association Central Chairman Abdullah Ghiyas Paracha, along with other office-bearers, said the industry would try to get a stay order from the Lahore High Court against the hefty increase in gas prices.

“A case has been filed in the high court which will conduct a hearing today (Tuesday),” he said.

He called for withdrawal of the Rs11 per kg increase in CNG prices, if not the association would launch a long march and stage strike for an indefinite period.

On Saturday last week, the government increased CNG prices by Rs9.93 and Rs11.58 per kg, effective from April 1.

Paracha also underlined the importance of the industry by saying that it was paying a big amount in taxes.

“We are paying taxes of over Rs4 billion daily to the government according to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR),” he said. “We are paying 26% general sales tax and 26% GST on cess.”

He lashed out at the government for intentionally trying to crush the CNG industry.

Paracha was of the view that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) could not notify increase in gas prices and took an illegal step because of hearing of petitions filed by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) in the court.

“We want the government to impose an equal rate of gas infrastructure development cess on every sector which is consuming gas,” he said and criticised the government for putting a major burden of the cess on the CNG industry.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2012.

Islamabad News Sources -2

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