The CNG stations would remain closed twice a week owing to gas shortage in winter while the All Pakistan CNG Association has threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the decision was not withdrawn.
According to sources, the CNG Association’s meeting with Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Syed Naveed Qamar Shah failed, as the association could not convince the minister on keeping CNG stations closed once a week.
They said that after listening to the demands and proposals of the association the minister said that he could not accept the demands due to pressure from other sectors of the industry.
“I agree with your proposals but we can not supply gas to the CNG sector continuously, as other sectors are not in this favour,” an official of the CNG Association quoted Qamar as saying.
The association tried to convince the minister that CNG stations only consumed six percent of the total gas present in the country. Talking to journalists after the meeting, Qamar said that there would be no disparity amongst various consumers and all would be treated equally.
Afterwards, the CNG Association held a meeting and decided to observe a strike if the decision was not taken back. The participants of the meeting said that closing CNG stations for once a week was not saving gas, as consumers used to fill their cylinders prior to the closure.
“It only affects our business, which was squeezed due to the closure,” a participant of the meeting said, adding that a two-day closure would badly affect their business. “It’s better to close the CNG stations for good if the government cannot reverse the decision of closing stations twice a week,” the association agreed.
Another participant of the meeting said that there was no shortage of CNG in other provinces and only Punjab was being targeted. “It’s unfair and should be stopped,” he demanded.
All Pakistan CNG Association Chairman Ghayas Abdullah Paracha told Pakistan Today that the association would close the CNG stations for good. “We will let the government know what impact the closure of CNG stations would have on the masses,” he said adding that the two-day closure should not be imposed, as 2.5 million vehicles ran on CNG and the closure would badly affect the business.
“A shortage of fuel would also be witnessed if the CNG stations were closed for two days,” he said, adding that the government would save only 0.4 percent of gas by imposing a two-day closure of the CNG stations.
“People would have to run their vehicles on petrol for two days in week, which would increase the country’s import bill,” Paracha said, adding that the association had requested the government to delay the annual repair of the Zamzama Gas Fields until Eidul Azha.