LAHORE - All Pakistan CNG Association and All Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association have threatened the government to close down CNG stations and petrol pumps across the country from Jan 5 if the authorities do not withdraw the recent increase in gas tariffs. This was announced at a joint press conference after a meeting of All Pakistan CNG Association and All Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association held on Thursday. During the press briefing, Chairman of All Pakistan CNG Association, Tariq Kundan warned to close all the 2,800 CNG stations across the country if the government did not take the decision back by Jan 5. He severely criticised the government's decision of 10 per cent increase in the prices of natural gas. He said that bringing prices of petrol and CNG on equal level would destroy the CNG business as they have made investment of around Rs 182 billion on it. He also said that petrol pumps associated with the CNGs would also be closed down. He further said that CNG stations all over the country were consuming only 5.6 per cent of the total gas supply and the government's claim that CNG stations using 20 to 60pc of the total supply was totally false and baseless. Commenting on gas loadshedding during winter, he said loadshedding of gas was due to extreme use of gas by the domestic consumers, not due to CNG stations. Tariq said that present increase in gas prices would raise CNG rates up to Rs 50 per kg, escalating its price closer to that of petrol. However, he added that they were not passing on the burden of the increased rates to the costumers, rather, they would now prefer to shut their businesses. The chairman of the association further said that they did not intend to create problems for the government and want to resolve the issue through negotiations. The present government wants to reverse the efforts made by the previous regime for introducing CNG-run vehicles in the country and now no one will buy CNG when petrol and diesel are available at the same prices, he said.