CNG Dealers May Opt For Nationwide Strike In Light Of Tariff Hike
The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) may decide to call a nationwide CNG strike against the unprecedented hike in tariff of natural gas. According to the Central Chairman of the APCNGA, the hike of 31% will leave the CNG sector bankrupt, and will result in thousands of people losing their jobs.
He added that this move would not only hurt consumers and existing businesses that use CNG but also may jeopardise future investment, such as the construction of LNG terminals through foreign investment. He also pointed out that in the provinces of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa the price had increased by Rs22 per kg while in Punjab it has only increased by Rs3 per kg. Punjab is using imported gas, which has 5% customs duty, which translate to Rs3 per kg.
By increasing the price of gas, the leader of the CNG sector claimed that the countries dependency on oil will rise, and that will erode the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
In addition to loss to the countries foreign exchange reserves, the price hike and the subsequent increased use of petrol will have environmental impacts as well. The tariffs will adversely impact the incomes of poor rickshaw and van drivers as well. According to Ahmed, the decision was detrimental to the survival of the Rs450-billion CNG industry, and while lead to a sharp increase in transportation costs.