CNG owners urge govt to announce relief package


PESHAWAR: Owners and dealers of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) here demanded of the government and Prime Minister Imran Khan to announce special financial relief package as the CNG sector also adversely affected due to outbreak of coronavirus.

This demand, they made during a meeting with Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Engr Maqsood Pervaiz though a video link here on Saturday.

The owners demanded under the special fiscal relief package, the reduction should be made in gas tariff to Rs780 per mmbtu (special gas tariff) for CNG sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and rest parts of the country, resulting good parity will be maintained between CNG and petrol. They furthermore asked to charge sale tax on cost of gas only @ 17 percent, while seeking 4 percent income tax exemption as well. The CNG owners called to charge electricity tariff on general industrial tariff. They also demanded to allow payment of upcoming month gas bill in four equal installments in order to rescue the CNG industry in wake of coronavirus pandemic. They said the special relief financial package will not only prevent the CNG industry from further declining or closure but it will also maintain parity between CNG and petrol. Engr Maqsood while speaking on the occasion welcomed the government move to reduce prices of petrol and diesel up to Rs15 per litre amid spread of coronavirus pandemic, definitely, the initiative will give relief to general masses and industries.

However, he demanded of the government to reduce gas tariffs, exemption from income and sale taxes for the CNG sector under a special economic relief package. For the last one decade, SCCI chief said the gas tariff has gone up by 71 per cent with imposition of various taxes on the CNG sector. The Chamber president feared if the government didn’t announce special relief package immediately for this important CNG sector, so the industry which is already facing multiple problems will become unfeasible after outbreak of coronavirus which would waste investments worth billions of rupees in the industry and leave hundreds of thousands unemployed. He informed the number of CNG stations had closed down due to high taxation, government unfriendly policies and other issues in KP.