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May 24, 2020

CNG consumers yet to get any relief despite cut in oil, gas prices

National

May 24, 2020

PESHAWAR: The compressed natural gas (CNG) consumers are yet to get any relief in prices of the commodity despite a dramatic cut in oil and gas prices in international market.

At gas stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, CNG is being sold at Rs139 per kg though oil and gas prices have been drastically reduced in the international market due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government last month reduced the price of petrol by Rs15 per litre against the proposed reduction of Rs20.68, bringing down the price to Rs81.58 per litre compared to the earlier Rs96.58. Also, Rs27.15 per litre was cut in the price of high speed diesel that is now being sold at Rs80.10 per litre compared to its previous rate of Rs107.25. However, no cut in the prices of CNG, which is an alternative to petrol, has been announced so far in a situation when the whole world is passing through financial crises and energy prices have come down unprecedentedly.

The oil and gas consumption has also come down in the country thus reducing oil import bill to a reasonable level, but neither the benefit of reduction in oil prices keeping in view the slump in prices in international market was passed on to the consumers nor any relief provided in gas or CNG sector. It would be no exaggeration to say that the scapegoats are the end consumers who have to suffer due to the high prices of oil and gas and are fleeced by gas station owners through adulteration in petrol and filling air in gas cylinders instead of CNG. The government on the one hand seems least interested in passing on the benefit to the consumers and on the other hand is unable to keep a check on the prices, quality and quantity.

Ironically the government or local administration hardly bother to check the gasoline or CNG stations where consumers are being fleeced through filling sub-standard or low quantity oil or air instead of gas, which has been a major complaint of consumers. On the other hand, the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has also asked the government to reduce CNG price by 40 percent to benefit motorists.

In a recent statement, the association chairman Ghiyas Paracha said gas prices in the country was linked to international oil rates so it could be reduced by 40 percent in the wake of unprecedented decrease in the prices of the crude oil. He said any hike in the oil price in international market was implemented in the country without any delay but people were kept deprived of benefit if prices came down.

He argued that despite steep fall in oil prices, the gas companies did not reduce prices in Pakistan to pass on the benefit to the consumers. He said the companies earn billion of rupees despite knowing the fact that the CNG sector and consumers were badly hit by the lockdown.