ISLAMABAD - All Pakistan Liquefied Petroleum Gas Distribution Association (APLPGDA) has alleged Ogra of issuing licences to the substandard cylinder manufacturers and warned of sit-in in front of the regulatory body.

“Government should take action against such manufacturers within 10 days otherwise we will go to the court of law and also stage a sit-in in front of the Oil and Gas regulatory Authority (Ogra),” said APLPGDA Chairman Irfan Khokhar while addressing a press conference here on Thursday.

He further alleged that the politicians are backing the mafia involved the manufacturing of substandard gas cylinders and therefore no action have been taken against them. “Some members of the parliament are backing the mafia therefore the government is reluctant to legislate against such manufacturers,” he claimed.

The use of substandard cylinders is causing blasts and have killed 3,240 in the past 11 years,” he said. Besides, the blasting has caused casualties and huge losses to the properties, he added. Despite frequent accidents and killing of thousands of people by the blast of substandard cylinders, Ogra kept issuing licences to such manufacturers, Irfan alleged. He said that there are around 400 companies in Gujranwala and majority of them are busy in the manufacturing of substandard cylinders.

Regarding the government plan of regulating the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sector, he said that the objective would be attained only if the gap between supply and demand of the LPG is removed. He said that the government could do this by facilitating the LPG import. He further said that if the government withdraws General Sales Tax (GST) and 5.5 percent advance tax on LPG import, then the LPG will be available to consumer at less than Rs80/Kg and a cylinder will be filled in approximately Rs900. He said that in year 2016, 1.2 million tons of LPG has been sold of which the imported LPG was 532,918 metric tons and remaining was locally produced. The LPG sector has also given Rs42 billion of revenue to the government in form of taxes. If the government formulates LPG import policy, then it could easily take control over its prices, he maintained.

If the government facilitate LPG imports and strive to increase its production locally, the revenue from the sector can be enhanced to Rs100 billion during 2017, he said. During year 2014, LPG total sale was 502,232 metric tons that included local production of 440,115 metric tons and imported was 62,117 metric tons, he added. In 2015, LPG sale was 875,087 metric tons (629,509 tons local and 245,578 tons imported) and in 2016, the sale increased to 1.182 million tons (648,802 tons local and 532,918 tons imported). In 2014, imported gas share in total sale was 12.36 percent, in 2015 it was 28 percent and in 2016 it increased to 45 percent. It was the imported gas that led the prices to go down, otherwise a few years back the gas price even touched Rs300/kg in winter.

Earlier, the association’s chairman holds a meeting with the Ogra’s authorities and conveyed the problems faced by the sector. Regarding the meeting, Ogra’s spokesman said, “Meeting took place in cordial environment and the suggestions of LPG marketing and distribution association were well received. They have been informed that the authority will look into their recommendations and will take necessary actions against manufacturers of substandard cylinders as and when required according to the provisions of Ogra Ordinance, requisite policy and rules.”