Gas supply to CNG sector can reduce circular debt by Rs 1500 billion: Paracha

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 14 (DNA): The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) industry can
reduce the rising circular debt by Rs 1500 per annum only if it is
supplied the required gas and provided a level playing field to run the
businesses.

Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, a senior leader of the All Pakistan CNG
Association, said that CNG sector can be helpful in decreasing the
mushrooming menace of the circular debt by Rs 1500 per annum only if the
industry (CNG) is supplied the needed gas and provided a level playing
filed by the government to run the business.

He said that currently the CNG sector is getting the gas from the
government at an expansive price ranging between $13 per Million British
Thermal Unit (MMBTU) to $20/MMBTU while the government is supplying the
gas to all other sectors at the rate ranging between $3/MMBTU to
$8/MMBTU.

He said the government must immediately take policy decision regarding
restoration of the gas supply to the CNG sector in order to save the
national exchequer from the additional burden of ever-increasing
circular debt that had crossed Rs2 trillion in the energy sector and
also to save the skin of already burdened public from the mounting oil
prices in global oil market, which is causing colossal additional burden
on public after passing every fifteen days.

Instead of supplying gas to the CNG industry the government is supplying
gas to those sectors which are also getting heavy subsidies, said Ghiyas
Abdullah Paracha.

Requesting the government to restore the gas supply to CNG sector,
Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha asked to immediately open the CNG Stations of
Punjab which are facing closure from last seven months (7th December
20211till date) in a bid to save the public from the impact of rising
oil prices in the international oil market.

He said that the government can save $2.1 billion per annum in import
bill if it facilitates the private sector in liquefied natural gas (LNG)
import while a 50% reduction in public transport fares is also possible
only if the government restores local gas supply to the CNG sector.

He said revival of CNG sector can generate thousands of new
employment/job opportunities while the use of CNG as an alternate fuel
for motor vehicles is equivalent to having an environmental benefit of
152.63 million trees per annum.

The CNG is still cheaper than prevailing petrol price while its price
will be cheaper than petrol if the private sector is allowed to import
LNG for the CNG sector of the country, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha.

He added that ironically, expansive Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas
(RLNG) is supplied to those sectors which are getting the subsidy and
they are not paying the price of RLNG in time while CNG sector is ready
to pay full price of gas in time but it (CNG sector) is denied to obtain
RLNG to run their businesses which were established with the hard earned
investment of approximately Rs 350 billion of the countrymen,

It is pertinent to mention that total 2300 CNG Stations are established
in the country and out of which 1100 CNG Stations are located in Punjab,
600 CNG Stations are situated in Sindh, 575 CNG Stations CNG Stations
are operating in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 25 CNG Stations are have been
established in Balochistan province.

At present, approximately 50pc of the total CNG Stations of Punjab
Province have suspended their operation due to non-availability of gas.
Similarly, Rs150 billion worth local investment so far made in
developing the CNG kits has been facing serious danger due to closure of
CNG Stations and non-availability of gas as a fuel for motor vehicles.

Furthermore, direct and indirect employment in the CNG sector is 5.1
lakh.

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