ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has constituted a committee comprising chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), chairman OGRA as well as representatives of the Petroleum Division and chairman All Pakistan CNG Association to work out options for providing CNG to the consumers at affordable rate.
A delegation of All Pakistan CNG Association, led by chairman Khalid Latif, called on Tarin on Monday. In response to the demand of the CNG association with regard to increase in gas price, an official said that the finance minister stated that this was a global phenomenon and hopefully things would become better after some time.
Chairman FBR Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, Chairman OGRA Mansoor Khan, senior officers from the Petroleum Division and representative of the FPCCI also participated in the meeting. The chairman, All Pakistan CNG Association briefed the finance minister about the operations of the CNG sector in Pakistan.
The CNG was launched in Pakistan as an environment-friendly and alternate fuel with a primary objective to curtail costly import of petrol. Overall investment in the CNG sector is around Rs450 billion over the last 15 years.
He also underlined the challenges being faced by the CNG sector, at present, due to massive fluctuations in the international prices of LNG along with depreciation in rupee, which has made CNG relatively expensive as compared to petrol in the domestic markets. The surging prices of CNG have undermined its attraction for the local consumers.
The chairman also presented a comparative analysis between retail prices of CNG and petrol on the occasion. The finance minister stated that the Covid-19 pandemic affected the international prices of petroleum products including LNG due to supply side disruptions.
The government has sustained the pressure and provided maximum relief to the consumers by keeping petroleum levy at the minimum. The finance minister reiterated the resolve to help CNG users' affordable prices for their fuel.
The finance minister constituted a Committee comprising chairman FBR, Chairman OGRA, representatives of the Petroleum Division and Chairman All Pakistan CNG Association to work out options for an optimal solution.
Talking to media, Group leader of the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) Ghiyas Paracha, on Monday, said increased import of gas will help the government save $350 to $700 million dollars in two years.
Paracha briefed the finance minister about the problems and suggested long- and short-term solutions that include freezing prices of RLNG for the CNG stations on the level of August-March and a 12 percent increase in sales tax should be reversed.
He also demanded abolishing customs duty on gas imports, and informed that gas consumption shows that imports will have to be doubled from 100mmcfd to 200mmcfd. India and European countries are increasing utilisation of gas in the transport sector due to increasing prices of petroleum products in the international market, while we already have the best system available which should be utilised, he demanded.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021