ISLAMABAD-The government Monday decreased the prices of re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) by 15.92 percent for the consumers of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and 15.69 percent for the consumers of Sui Northern Gas Company (SNGPL).

As per the notification issued by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), the RLNG prices were decreased for the consumers of both the state owned gas distribution companies for the month of April.

According the notification, the price of RLNG was decreased by $1.8099 per mmbtu or 15.92 percent for the consumers of SSGC and $ 1.7836 per mmbtu or 15.69 percent for the consumers of SNGPL.

The price of RLNG for SSGC has been set at $9.5834 per mmbtu for the ongoing month while for SNGPL the price will be $9.5582 per mmbtu.

With the decrease in RLNG prices, it would reduce the power generation cost from this source, as this imported gas is the second largest contributor in national energy mix.

The new notified prices of RLNG also include charges of the LNG terminals, transmission losses, port charges, and margins of the importers i.e. Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL).

These new weighted average sale prices of RLNG have been computed, based on seven cargoes imported for the month including five cargoes by PSO and two by Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL). For the month of March 7 cargoes, February 8 cargoes while for January 10 cargoes were imported.

It is worth mentioning here that for the month of March Ogra had increased the prices of RLNG by 1.55 percent for the consumers of the SSGC and 1.51 percent for the consumers of SNGPL. For the month of February also the government had increased the prices of RLNG by 7.02 percent for the consumers of the SSGC and 6.60 percent for the consumers of SNGPL.

LNG is imported product and pegged with the international oil prices, so with the increase in oil prices, this product’s price also increases.

Meanwhile, the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) said that the CNG sector is collapsing due to the economic slowdown and it requires an urgent bailout package from the government. In a letter written to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Central Chairman APCNGA Ghiyas Paracha said that reduction in oil price has provided relief to masses but it has also minimised the difference in the prices of petrol and CNG which has halted the sale of environmentally friendly fuel putting industry at stake.

The government should move to save Rs450 billion of investment in the CNG sector which is also providing direct and indirect jobs to millions of people, said Ghiyas Paracha. The CNG sector can only survive if the government allocates one hundred thousand rupees monthly grant to every filling station for three months and announce other measures, he said.

The leader of CNG sector said that withholding tax should be reduced from existing four percent to two percent, industrial power tariff should be allowed while the MDI charges included in the electricity bills should be halted at ten percent. He said that gas distribution and re-gasification charges should be reduced while GIDC should be completely abolished. Tariff of gas for CNG filling stations using local gas should be reduced by 35 percent so that this business can become viable.

He also demanded waiver of five percent customs duty on import of LNG so that its price can be brought down for customers and consumers. Ghiyas Paracha said that private sector can give excellent results if it is allowed to take part in the LNG supply chain. The vibrant private sector has the ability and will to bring down LNG prices substantially to benefit the entire population, therefore, it should be insulated from red tape, he demanded.