ISLAMABAD       -          The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Industries Association Pakistan (LPGIAP) on Friday demanded a bailout package from the government in economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) evolving situation across the country.

“The LPG industry is suffering a loss of around Rs500 million on monthly basis after the federal and provincial governments ordered lockdown in the wake of coronavirus. Our 70 percent business has come to a halt,” LPGIA Chairman Irfan Khokhar said while talking to APP.

He said 70 percent of LPG’s total supplies were being used in auto sector, industries, hotels and restaurants, tandoors and marriage halls, which were now facing shutdown as preventive measures to contain the spread of virus.He said almost 300 LPG marketing companies were operating in the country and providing jobs to more or less 200,000 people, adding it was difficult for them to pay salaries to their employees and bearing other running expenses for months without having any business.

Citing the hardships being faced by the LPG industry in the wake of coronavirus, he requested the government to waive of levy tax, advance tax and general sales tax at least for a period of one year to mitigate their financial sufferings.

 Terming the LPG ‘fuel of poor,’ Khokhar urged the government to devise an effective strategy to control the commodity price as domestic consumers, especially in remote areas, had started losing their purchasing power due to the prevailing economic situation in the country.

With the increase in LPG price, he feared that the country could miss achieving the goal of clean and green Pakistan because in hilly and far-flung areas, people would have no option but to cut trees for meeting their fuel needs.