ISLAMABAD - The government has now decided to put a complete ban on the sale of CNG above sanctioned load by filling stations across the country.

Sources aware of the matter told TheNation that government in a bid to put a cap on once robust CNG industry has initiated to materialise a newly-devised strategy under which a complete ban would be imposed on the sale of above sanctioned load at the CNG filling stations.

Following Tuesday decision of the ECC decision pertaining CNG policy guidelines, the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has rejected the decision and hinted a complete strike plan likely to be announced today (Thursday). The standoff between stakeholders over finding an agreed quick solution to end the miseries of CNG consumers would persists with no hope in sight while consumers bear the brunt of unavailability of commodity despite the fact that the ECC has endorsed increase in gas prices across the country.

Sources further told that as government has devised a new strategy to end once profiting CNG industry from the country so ECC during its Tuesday meeting has set a limit for the sale of CNG and advised to disconnect gas supply of those filling stations involved in violation of sanctioned load. They said the sanctioned load of gas for each CNG filling station is ranging between 535 to 2000 cubic meters.

Both gas companies in accordance to their agreements are bound to supply gas to the CNG filling stations throughout the month. But owing to increasing shortfall of gas in the entire system the gas companies were providing gas to the CNG stations for four days prior to the start of peak winter season. However, at present gas utilities of the country altogether contrary to the previous gas load management plan has decided to suspend gas supply to the CNG filling stations apparently owing to increasing gas shortfall.

When contacted with Secretary Petroleum Dr Waqqar Masood Khan, he confirmed the information by saying that those CNG station owners who have deposited money for additional load would be exempted from such ban. He further declared that in case of violation of sanctioned load by the CNG filling station gas supply would be disconnected.

A senior leader of APCNGA Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said that out of more than 3,000 CNG filling stations around 2,000 stations would be closed within two months with effect to this new decision. He said the CNG filling stations have obtained permission from Ogra prior to installing the machinery and technology required for additional load. Reiterating his earlier stance over approved CNG policy guidelines, he said we are not agreed with the approved rates and policy. More, the CNG filling stations have deposited hefty amounts to both SNGPL and SSGCL for the said purpose of additional load. Thousands of people would be unemployed with effect to this government decision, he added.

“No one is ready to listen our concern even the sub-committee of the ECC formed to formulate policy guidelines for CNG sector did not bother to entertain our worries regarding levied taxes on the CNG sector, he said, adding, that both Ogra and Petroleum Ministry in a bid to hush up their inaptness are busy in destroying the once robust CNG sector. He said from dawn to dusk MP&NR is busy in excusing sever gas shortfall and SNGPL and SSGCL have closed gas supply to CNG filling stations but surprisingly SNGPL has reportedly restored gas supply to textile sector.

SNGPL MD Arif Hameed when contacted told that maximum sanctioned load for a CNG filling station is 28mcf per hour, which is mentioned in the agreement. At present the demand on the SNGPL system stands at 2.9 bcf and shortfall at 1.1bcfd.