ISLAMABAD – Taking serious notice of the closure of CNG stations, following a slash of Rs 30.9 per kilogram on orders from the Supreme Court, the government has warned that it would cancel licences of all such CNG stations that are defying the apex court’s order to cut prices.

A number of CNG stations have been shut as a means to deny consumers new prices notified by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority in line with Supreme Court’s directives. Some other stations that opened charged old rates.

Prime Minister's Adviser on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain said that keeping CNG stations shut or selling CNG at the old price is contempt of court and such CNG stations' licenses would be cancelled. He directed Ogra to send its inspection teams to list all CNG stations closed since the Supreme Court order of price reduction.

Meanwhile, Ogra has already directed the gas distribution companies to cut gas supply to all such CNG stations which are not selling CNG at the new prices notified by Ogra after the SC verdict.

All Pakistan CNG Association's Chairman Ghayas Paracha has advised owners of CNG stations to start selling CNG at the new rates to facilitate consumers on Eidul Azha. The association, after Eid holidays, will file a review petition in the Supreme Court regarding prices, Paracha said in a statement.

Many gas stations closed down on Friday causing difficulties for the public, while most gas stations reportedly turned away customers on the pretext of having developed technical faults.

Despite it being a public holiday, public transport remained sparse on the roads and people were forced to commute on rooftops of buses. Welcoming the apex court’s orders, Dr Asim Hussain urged all provincial governments to ensure immediate implementation of the court’s directions.

Karachi CNG Dealers Association chairman Abdul Sami Khan said some members had asked him how they could run their business in loss, but the association instructed them to reduce the price and keep their stations open.

Contrary to actual events, CNG Station Owners Association chairman Malik Khuda Bux claimed that all its members had reduced the price and their pumps were open across the country. Some pumps might have been closed because of low gas pressure, but all other pumps were operating normally, he added.

In its historic verdict, the Supreme Court on Thursday made the government slash CNG prices by unprecedented Rs30 per kilogram, doubling the Eid delight for millions of users, but the greedy elements made the jubilation short-lived.

The big time cut in the CNG price was notified by Ogra with immediate effect, after the Supreme Court in its interim verdict in the CNG pricing case declared the existing pricing formula illegal.

After this major decrease in the prices, the CNG price was supposed to drop to Rs 61.64 per kg in Region I (Potohar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan), and Rs 54.16 per kg in Region II (Sindh and Punjab, excluding Potohar areas).

A two-member bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, had heard the case. The court stopped the authorities to link price of imported commodity petrol with the domestically produced CNG declaring it “unjustified” and “unreasonable”

The court observed that cost component of CNG price includes Rs17.78 Gas Development Surcharge and Rs20.80 operating cost of CNG stations, while Rs10 is added to it by linking of CNG price with petrol. He said by doing away with these cost additives, the authorities could give much relief to the public.

The chief justice said those who wanted to do the business they could do it but they would not allow anyone to loot the people. He said that no one can be allowed to indulge in profiteering and hoarding, as these are crimes. The chief justice said to the the Ogra chairman that the way he was defending CNG price mechanism it seemed he has share in the CNG business.

Defiant CNG stations to lose licence