ISLAMABAD – President Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) Farida Rashid has said that phasing out Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) industry will strain Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves.

Addressing a meeting here on Sunday, President IWCCI, Farida Rashid said that the step could cause a strain of a million dollar per day on forex reserves.

She said that replacing economical fuel like CNG with costly alternatives would require additional import of 250,000 tonnes of diesel and same amount of petrol or 4.3 million barrels per annum.

Closing down CNG sector will require additional import of 13000 bbl per day of refined products costing around Rs 100 million per day, she said.

Farida Rashid proposed that steps should be taken to boost local production by enhanced exploration, offering incentives and out of the resolution of disputes with private companies, which have stopped gas extraction since long.

She said that plans to import natural gas from Iran and Turkmenistan should no longer remain on paper while line losses and theft of gas has touched mark of 19 per cent for the first time in history, which merits an independent probe.

Government can also consider converting fertilizer sector on coal, which will save 750mmcfd gas per day or 25 per cent of the total natural gas production to resolve gas crisis, she added.