Another matchstick lit to ignite the CNG dynamite

ISLAMABAD – The government has planned to further tighten noose around the Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) industry by imposing a 10 percent duty on import of CNG buses in the country in upcoming budget 2012-13,say sources. According to an official of the ministry of Industries, this is an additional step which government is going to take to end use of CNG in transport sector as ministry of petroleum had already proposed a massive hike of Rs 15 per kg in CNG prices from the next financial year by raising rate of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess. “The plan of imposing duty would hamper the efforts of introducing CNG business in big cities. Punjab province is already working on a plan to introduce CNG buses in Lahore city,” said the official. “The government has planned to reverse its CNG policy in an effort to bring CNG prices at par with POL prices and to replace it with LPG,”said the official adding that a ban had already been imposed on the import of CNG kits and cylinders which was badly damaging investment. According to the government estimates during the last decade, gas production had been increased by only 7 percent, while its consumption increased by 40 percent per annum. CNG sector is identified as the major user of gas whose consumption has increased by 39 percent per annum during the last decade. According to All Pakistan CNG Association the proposal for imposing more CESS tax and an increase of CNG retail price will crush CNG industry as both the proposals were unjust with 4 million vehicle owners and 50 Million CNG consumers. “We will not let LPG to disturb 50 Millions consumers and 4 Million vehicle owners and an economical travel facility of the middle class of our country,” said Chairman CNG Association, adding that in summer season LPG is at the cheapest price, the imported LPG is substandard, if it may provided to public absolutely free even then it is not feasible and suitable for public.