ISLAMABAD - State-owned gas utilities have dispatched a gas load management plan for winter season to the ministry of petroleum & natural resources and recommended the government to close all CNG filling stations during the upcoming months of January and December.

This shocking disclosure would end the hope of 3.7 million CNG consumers desperately expecting a sigh of relief from the PML-N government. This proposed plan if successfully gets necessary approval of the ECC then the masses who are already bearing the brunt of sky rocketing prices of petroleum products (POL) would be deprived of the cheap fuel facility during the peak winter season. The closure of CNG for two long months would also increase the import bill and would ultimately increase extra burden on national kitty besides worsening the miseries of CNG consumers and general public in the shape of hike in the prices of oil and essential commodities.

Well-informed sources in petroleum ministry told TheNation that viewing the expected acute gas shortfall during December and January, gas companies have dispatched a gas load management plan to the ministry of petroleum for the winter season. The gas utilities have recommended the government to shut country’s Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations in December 2013 and January 2014. They said that though the closure of CNG filling stations situated in Punjab province would be imperative yet the CNG filling stations located in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan would also witness closure in the said span of time. And, supply of gas to the power and industrial sectors would also be decreased besides two months closure of natural gas supply to the fertilizer sector of the country.

Official sources on the condition of not to be named told about worst kind of gas shortfall in peak winter season particularly in December and January. They said the CNG, power and industrial sector of the country should get ready to bear the brunt of complete gas closure in the chilly winter season or to some extent at least the two months gas supply suspension. About the implementation of said gas load management plan to the ministry, they said prior to implement the plan, the government will have to seek final approval of the federal cabinet’s economic coordination committee (ECC).

On the other hand, when contacted with senior stalwart of All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) to know his point of stand over the proposed supply suspension of natural gas to the CNG filling stations, Ghiyas Abdullah Parcaha first deplored over the shocking news and later declared that the CNG association would not allow the incumbent regime to increase woes and worries for the CNG sector. He said,” We would announce our strategy the day after tomorrow as a meeting is scheduled with petroleum minister today (Wednesday) while another is with the officials of oil and gas regulatory authority (OGRA) on Thursday.” He said like outgoing PPP-led regime the incumbent PML-N government is also following the ill-conceived suggestions and policies of the bureaucracy with regard to once robust CNG industry of the country. 

Ghiyas Abdullah Parcaha also told that members of the executive committee of the APCNGA have reached here in the federal capital to devise a unanimous strategy against the unannounced gas load shedding, gas pricing and the state of affairs in the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and in the gas utilities. The meeting of executive members would devise strategy how to deal with the issues being faced by the CNG sector, he added.