Islamabad: Since the introduction of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the country way back in 1992, which was called a cheaper source of fuel, the price of CNG did not come down a single day and the rate has gone up from Rs9 per kilogram to Rs75.35 per kilograms. And this ratio of price hike reached its pinnacle during the last four years when the price of CNG jumped up from Rs47 to Rs75.35 per kilogram, which means Rs7 per kilogram increase per year.
People belonging to different walks of life particularly traders and transporters have rung the alarm bells because of ever-increasing prices of CNG. The government is hell bent upon increasing the price of CNG up to Rs100 per kilogram at this pace, they warned.
At the time of its introduction in 1992, the then government had promised to provide a cheaper source of fuel in the form of CNG. Since its inception in private sector, the number of CNG stations across the country has risen to 3,187.
People were reluctant to convert the engines of their vehicles to CNG when the government introduced it in 1992. However, the government and investors urged motorists and transporters to adopt this cheap source of fuel. And now more than 3 million vehicles are being run on CNG and people have spent billions of rupees on converting their vehicles from petrol and diesel to CNG for availing a cheap source of fuel. On the other hand, the majority of public transport is also being run on CNG for the last 20 years.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and investors blame each other for more than ten times increase in CNG prices during last twenty years. But the question arises, if investors and government faced losses during last 20 years then why the number of CNG stations soared from 2 to 3,187.
On the other hand, consumers claimed that when CNG was introduced in 1992 the quality of gas was quite good at Rs9 per kilogram, but now when its price has gone up, its quality has gone down.
Talking to ‘The News,’ a number of people said that the government and investors were looting the public. They said that they were motivated by both parties to convert their vehicles to CNG. They said that they converted their vehicles to CNG because it was a cheaper source of energy, but with the passage of time the price of CNG has gone up dramatically. People said that the majority of public transport vehicles are being run on CNG and their fares are being increased on the pretext of increase in prices of petroleum products.
Irshad Ahmed, a consumer, said that the government and investors manipulate fuel prices. He alleged that CNG station owners were filling less gas at higher rates. “But the concerned authorities are unmoved against them because if they take action they could lose these investors,” he added.
All Pakistan CNG Association Central Chairman Ghayas Abdullah Paracha admitted all facts and figures of CNG prices during last 20 years. “At the time of introducing CNG in private sector, there was only one filling station in the country and now 3,187 are running the business successfully,” he added. He said that the government was providing gas to CNG stations at higher rates therefore they were selling it at higher prices. The government should cut down the price of gas, if it is sincere in providing a cheap source of fuel to people. In fact, government wants to destroy CNG industry to introduce high priced LNG in the country, he said.