ISLAMABAD: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) on Monday cut off gas supply to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) for an indefinite period.
Reacting to the development, The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) rejected the decision and termed the decision as ‘illegal’.
In this regard, APCNGA senior leader Ghiyas Paracha said that the decision to disconnect CNG stations in KP is contempt of court as the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has issued a stay order in this regard, adding that the utility company’s decision has been taken on a 17-year-old load management policy devised in 2005, which does not have any legal standing now.
In a statement issued on Monday, Paracha said that the ineffective policy was introduced in 2005 for two years and taking decisions on the basis of this policy is illegal while the Cabinet has been misguided in this regard.
“Suspending gas supply to CNG stations will increase oil import bill by billions and intensify the problem of air pollution and smog”, he warned.
Paracha also said that CNG stations in Punjab are using RLNG therefore these filling stations do not fall in the ambit of any such policy. He said that if locally produced natural gas is scarce then load management should target consumers of national gas and not the sectors using imported gas, paying the highest taxes and highest prices as well.
He said that the CNG sector is not allowed to import gas for their own consumption while the government is not ready to give it local gas either, putting its survival at stake.
He also said that the CNG industry of the country was once among the leading industries as other countries used to seek help from Pakistan to introduce the same in their economies but now it is at the brink of extinction due to a host of reasons including some elements that are bent upon destroying it.
He demanded that those who are damaging this sector should be held accountable and strict action should be taken against them as the livelihood of millions of people is tied to this sector.
A senior official of SNGPL on condition anonymity told Profit that gas supply to the CNG stations will be restored as the supply situation improves.