CNG phase-out plan to hurt forex reserves: IWCCI

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) on Sunday said phasing out Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) industry will put an additional strain of one million dollar per day on Pakistans forex reserves.

Calling for an out of the box solution, it said that policymakers should not test the limits of foreign exchange reserves at a time when countrys revenue generation ability has been compromised and it has to repay four billion dollar to IMF and ADB.

Domestic debt has crossed Rs 8 trillion marks while government has to pay back $3.4 billion in 2012-13, $3.43 billion in 2013-14 and $1.35 billion in 2014-15 to retire IMFs loan, said President IWCCI Farida Rashid.

Speaking to a meeting, she said that replacing economical fuel like CNG with costly alternatives will require additional import of 2.5 lakh tonnes of diesel and same amount of petrol or 4.3 million barrels per annum.

Pakistans local crude production stands at 60,000 barrels per day while 30,3000 barrels are refined daily through six refineries, she informed.

President IWCCI Farida Rashid said that ARL is refining 45000 barrel per day, PRL 55000 bbl per day, NRL 65000 bbl, PARCO 100000 bbl, BYCO 35000 bbl, while ENAR is refining 3000 bbl per day.

Pakistan total consumption stands at 425000 bbl per day which is satisfied through importing 243000 bbl crude and 122000 bbl refined imports while rest is catered through local production.

Closing down CNG sector will require additional import of 13000 bbl per day of refined products costing around Rs 100 million per day, she said.

Farida Rashid said that decisions that can trigger multiple problems should be revisited and steps should be taken to boost local production by enhanced exploration, offering incentives and out of the resolution of disputes with private companies which have stopped gas extraction since long.

She said that plans to import natural gas from Iran and Turkmenistan should no longer remain on paper while line losses and theft of gas has touched mark of 19 per cent for the first time in history which merits an independent probe.

Government can also consider converting fertiliser sector on coal which will save 750mmcfd gas per day or 25 per cent of the total natural gas production to resolve gas crisis, she said.


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