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ISLAMABAD: FPCCI President Naseer Hayatt Magoon, on Monday, said a nationwide gas suspension for seven days is unacceptable as it will take a toll on the masses and the industry, while the CNG sector will be one of the worst-hit.

In a statement he said that sales tax on LNG import for the CNG sector has been increased by 12 percent, while five percent Customs duty has been imposed, which should be reversed or this sector will crumble, he said.

Naseer Hayatt Magoon said that the gas crisis is an outcome of mismanagement as gas supply is being suspended across the country from June 29, which is the outcome of gross incompetence.

He said that delay in LNG imports, blocking LNG imports by the CNG sector for years, and maintenance of gas fields and LNG terminal at the wrong time when electricity demand is at its peak speaks volumes about the expertise of the concerned officials.

He said that now a decision has been reached to import furnace oil to reduce the shortfall, which is a costly option and linked to wrong decisions by the authorities.

The president FPCCI said that the government would not import gas in time and it will not allow the private sector to import gas, which is creating multiple problems.

Speaking on the occasion, Group Leader of All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) Ghiyas Paracha said that energy policies are not according to the ground realities and the country will have to suffer energy crisis as long as the CNG sector is not allowed to import gas.

The LNG import by the troubled CNG sector will end load-shedding and benefit the government by Rs 82 billion annually, but this is not acceptable to some bureaucrats as the Sui companies are damaging businesses and jobs.

Ghiyas Paracha noted that Sindh and Punjab is using imported gas; therefore, there is no rationale in discontinuing their gas supply even if the local gas is in short supply.

The APCNGA Chairman, Khalid Latif, said that Rs 450 billion have been invested in the CNG sector, which is now on the brink of threatening investments and jobs.

The government should take practical steps to revive this industry and reverse taxes imposed in the budget,so that it can survive and keep on providing jobs as well as affordable fuel to people, while keeping the environment green.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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