ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI All Pakistan CNG Association (APCA) on Wednesday observed strike against government polices and demanded of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani to take immediate action to save CNG sector from disaster. Chairman APCA Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha while talking to TheNation said that according to the decision of APCA, complete strike was observed throughout the country on Wednesday. He said 2,912 CNG stations out of 3,006 were closed in the four provinces of the country. However the CNG stations affiliated with oil marketing companies remained open, he added. He said that 1.5 billion consumers of CNG and millions of operators (employees) are at the mercy of Prime Ministers decision. The Prime Minister should solve the problems of APCA as soon possible, he urged. The representatives of the APCA earlier had warned the government that the strike would continue till the fulfilment of their demands. They were of the view that discriminatory attitude on the part of authorities concerned led the situation from bad to worse. Mehboob Alam, owner of Euro Style Interior, opined, Of course, the present rulers are behind the present mess. He said there is no shortage of gas in the country but unfortunately, government wants to earn more money by increasing the demand of Petrol. It is not easy for people to bear the burden of high prices of petrol, he added. It is relevant to mention here that motorists are facing odd situation due to unavailability of CNG. Muhammad Yousaf, a cab driver, told that it was not easy for him to purchase petrol instead of CNG. The present situation is already not favourable for low-ranked workers, as massive security pickets and deteriorating law and order situation in the country keep the people away from markets. Javed-ur-Rehman, an Islamabad-based journalist, said his budget doesnt allow him to change his CNG kit, as the prices of petrol are already very high. He said the situation can be handled through negotiations but due to negligence on the part of authorities concerned, common people are suffering from unpleasant situation. Meanwhile in Rawalpindi, the transport union of twin cities in collaboration with All Pakistan CNG Association (APCA) staged a protest demonstration on Wednesday in front of PPP slain chairperson Benazir Bhuttos (BB) monument and urged the Government to withdraw its decision regarding two-holiday a week for CNG filling stations. Earlier, the transporters of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, and APCA office-bearers took out a rally that started from Fawara Chowk and culminated at BBs monument. The rally was also attended by office-bearers of different other transport unions. While addressing the rally, APCA office-bearer Ashar Aleem said the Government has rejected the proposal presented by the association to overcome the issues relating to price and suspension of CNG, and this thing has forced the CNG station owners to go on strike. He urged the Government to fix CNG price that is half of the price of petrol in accordance with the Petroleum Policy 1992. He said the wrong decision of PPP-led government is not saving gas but creating problems for poor transporters and public. Ashar threatened that more than 500,000 families related to CNG business would come on the roads against this unjust decision of the government and would block the roads throughout the country. He informed that in Punjab and NWFP, the CNG owners observed complete strike while in Sindh some 80 percent filling stations remained closed. He warned the government to take back its decision regarding price hike and suspension of CNG, otherwise the association would observe complete strike across the country for indefinite period. The transport unions office-bearers said that the transporters were paying Rs. 40 billion tax annually but the Government was giving them nothing in return. They said this incorrect decision of Government would deprive 720,000 persons of two-time meal. They asked the government not to increase the price of CNG. They also demanded of the government to withdraw its decision of closure of CNG pumps twice a week, otherwise the transporters would go on wheel-jam strike by 1st January 2010.