Govt says no CNG for cars over 1,000cc

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ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to prevent the use of CNG in vehicles over 1,000cc and to allow CNG to be used as fuel by public transport only, revealed Prime Minister’s Adviser on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain on Tuesday.

According to Dr Asim, the government will increase the taxes on CNG with a view to bringing its price to a level just 20 percent lower than that of petrol.

“These steps are part of the plan to phase out the CNG industry, which is eating into 425 million cubic feet gas per day,” said Dr Asim, who vehementlyrefused to accept the recommendations of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources to bring down the volume of taxes on CNG. “The vision of the NA committee is limited and based on personal interests,” said the adviser. “If the CNG entrepreneurs aren’t making profit — as is argued — why are they still up and running?”

Mentioning the recent curtailment of the profit of CNG entrepreneurs, he accepted that the Supreme Court had done what his ministry had failed to do.

Earlier, addressing the annual technical conference on exploration and production sector held at a local hotel, Dr Asim conceded that the consumption of CNG in the vehicles had increased manifold because of reduction in CNG prices. However, he expressed the fear that if the unbridled CNG utilisation was not halted, all vehicles in the country would be converted to CNG.

“The country’s gas requirements will never be met if the current usage of CNG in vehicles continues unabated,” he added. Dr Asim said the fertiliser and industrial sectors are facing an acute shortage of gas because of which many industrial units have been closed, triggering a new wave of unemployment. “Given this, we can’t allow Pajeros and Prados to run on CNG.”

Dr Asim said Pakistan and Iran initialed a deal last week under which Tehran would provide $500 million for the pipeline to be laid in the territory of Pakistan under the IP gas pipeline project.

According to Asim Hussain, the deal was finalised and initialed in Tehran and the United States had no objections to Islamabad buying gas from Iran. “Pakistan failed to secure funding from China and Russia for the project because of the US and EU sanctions against Iran. And so Tehran has decided to extend the credit line to Islamabad,” he said.

Initially, Tehran will extend a credit line of $250 million, under which the pipeline will be laid from MP250, a point at the Pak-Iran border, to Gwadar and then to Nawabshah — a total of 785 kilometres in length. Further, the job of laying the pipeline in Pakistan’s territory will also be completed by Iranian companies.

Dr Asim said the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources will now move the summary to the cabinet for formal approval. “The $500-million deal has been finalised under a government-to-government arrangement and Pakistan will utilise funds from the gas development cess to invest in the project,” he said. “And Islamabad will pay back the loan to Iran with payments of the piped gas to be imported from there.”

Pakistan and Iran earlier wanted to initial an agreement on the credit line of $500 million on November 22 in Islamabad on the sidelines of the D-8 Summit, which was also attended by the Iranian president. However, the idea was shelved since the two sides could not develop complete agreement on some issues pertaining to terms and conditions of the loan.

The gas pipeline is scheduled to be commissioned by December 2014 and the project will inject 750mmcfd gas in the Pakistani system that will play a pivotal role in minimising the energy crisis the country is facing, he added.

APP adds: Dr Asim said the government was aware of the dynamics of the international oil and gas scenario as well as operating challenges faced by exploration and production companies striving to optimise production and reserves replacement.

“Energy challenges before us are, however, of an unprecedented scale and require out-of-the-box solutions,” he said.

He said that the government was working on Shale Gas Policy Framework, which is at an advanced stage of finalisation, along with preparation of Marginal and Stranded Gas Low Pressure Gas policies as well as Guidelines for Flared Gases to tap available resources for the benefit of the country.He said that LPG Policy 2012 was also under preparation.


Courtesy: The News


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