Inefficient CPPs inflicts Rs 70 billion loss annually on country

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Saturday questioned the policy of providing cheap gas to captive power plants (CPPs) to gain political favours which is causing a loss of Rs 70 billion to the public exchequer per annum.

The technology, efficiency, cost, consumption, production, and other parameters related to the CPPs are questionable, as industry has been using scrap plants in place of modern and better equipment, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA.

The average efficiency of 113 CPPs, mostly installed in textile units, stands at 28 per cent meaning that they are wasting 72 per cent of the gas in the process of generating electricity, he said while speaking to APCNGAs central executive committee.

Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said that data of SSGC and SNGPL shows that CPPs are getting 454 mmcfd gas per day out of which 327 mmcfd is lost to inefficiency causing loss of around 19 crore per day.

Planning Commission and Ministry of Water and Power have termed primitive CPPs a major drain of indigenous hydrocarbon resources but to no avail, he said, adding that statements of crackdown against wasteful CPPs by ministry of petroleum is mere eyewash.

He said that government is pleasing owners of CPPs on the cost of domestic consumers, CNG, fertiliser and general industry. Many industries closed since long are being provided gas while the power generated through that gas is being sold to running industrial units without approval from Nepra which must be probed, he demanded.

He said that the silence of concerned departments on the issue is not only amazing but also criminal at a time when whole nation is reeling under power crisis.

The country would not have faced energy shortages of such magnitude if decision were taken on merit and the gas allocated to CPPs was provided to efficient power houses, he said.

Power generation companies are facing heavy losses as gas consumption as well as some 2000 mw load has been shifted to the unregulated gas gulping CPP sector which do not require a licence and have no performance and efficiency checks.

The policy has hiked operation and maintenance cost of the Discos, average tariff is going up while average sale declines causing losses to the government while CPPs thrive on economical gas and support of petroleum ministry.

Criticising the move to lower the efficiency benchmark for CPPs, Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha demanded a probe into the issue to fix responsibility on those who played havoc with the country for their personal welfare.

He demanded an immediate comprehensive and independent audit of captive power plants, banning Discos buying power from captives using cheap gas as fuel, and concrete steps to improve the efficiency and avoid wastage of precious natural resources in the national interest.

The government needs to increase gas price for CPPs by a minimum of 150 per cent to resolve all issues, ensure efficiency and reduce load shedding. There is a need for a well-integrated power policy which addresses the various issues to ensure an overall development of the sector and economy.


APCNGA questions ban on use of generators by CNG outlets

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Monday criticised the policy of government for barring CNG filling stations from using diesel generators to run business during electricity loadshedding.

Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA demanded immediate reversal of the policy which is only adding to the miseries of masses which are already stressed due to much criticised gas loadshedding schedule and unjust distribution of the hydrocarbon resources.

The policy of discouraging CNG owners from running business during loadshedding is not according to the ground realities as no area in Pakistan is immune to the power loadshedding which leaves many without CNG during operational days, he said.

Ghiyas Paracha said that one of the worst power breakdowns that left over half of the country in darkness and stopped production in most of the country also took toll on the CNG business.

800 CNG outlets out of 1200 in Region I including Faisalabad, Bhawalpur, and Potohar remained closed due to the failure of the power network, he informed.

He said that closure of 800 stations resulted in additional burden on operational CNG filling stations resulting in longer lines of cars, cabs, and public transport vehicles.

A country having largest user base of CNG in the world, with highest number of CNG stations and almost two-thirds of all cars and small commercial vehicles using this fuel deserve a better treatment, the leader of CNG sector said.

Paracha said that masses faced problems in getting their vehicles refilled with economical fuel as CNG stations have been barred by the government to use diesel generators during power loadshedding.

He said that most of the policies for CNG sector framed by politicians and bureaucracy who remain unconcerned with plight of masses have negative implications.

Dr Asim held responsible for energy crisis

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Thursday held Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim responsible for energy crisis which has resulted in economic downturn, sluggish growth and massive unemployment.

Energy crunch will remain a serious challenge confronting country unless the incompetent Adviser Petroleum is removed, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA.

Speaking at a press conference here, he said that the artificial crisis of gas should be settled immediately restoring supply to industries and CNG filling stations across Punjab according to the former schedule otherwise we will launch countrywide protest movement from Feb 2.

He informed that APCNGA will start protect from Bhawalpur which would be followed by protest in Multan on Feb 03 and Vehari while a rally will be carried out in Faisalabad on Feb 04, Feb 05 in Gujranwala and afterwards in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi.

Paracha warned that sit-ins would be staged in Lahore and Islamabad on Feb 10th if authorities failed to accept legitimate demands of the CNG sector.

He said that incompetence of Dr. Asim has paralysed whole country and the critical energy sector which has contributed to closure of hundreds of thousands of businesses and left millions of poor jobless triggering multiple social problems in this era of double digit inflation.

The leader of the CNG sector added that LPG-air mix and LNG import projects are scams of bigger magnitude having far more serious repercussions than the infamous Rental Power Projects in which nation was deprived of billions.

The moves regarding liquid gas have been initiated to benefit few influential and crook businessmen on the cost of country which should not be tolerated, he said.

Reposing full confidence in the private sector energy experts, Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said that energy crisis can be resolved within few months if a high-powered committee is formed having full representation of the private sector.

Such a move will put economy back on tract and give hope to dejected masses that are being punished for the greed and selfishness of few who are focused on making as much illegitimate wealth as possible in few months.

He said that the landmark decision of the Islamabad High Court terming GIDC illegal has proved truth of APCNGA claims which is victory of masses.

Paracha asked the civil society to take note of the issue and help CNG operators to get the issue resolved.

Reopening of CNG outlets demanded as weather normalises

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Friday said weather intensity has been reduced therefore all the CNG filling stations across the country should be reopened.

The extreme weather which had heated up demand for natural gas has normalised which call for immediate revisit of the CNG schedule, it said.

The closure of CNG outlets has taken toll on masses, transport sector and economy which must be realised at earliest, said Abid Hayat, Central Chairman APCNGA.

In a statement issued here today he said that the CNG crisis has shut transport sector, left millions jobless while additional imports of petrol is putting additional strain on forex reserves which are already below the satisfactory level.

The CNG closure has also stoked inflation, eroded currency and disturbed budget of middleclass while the man on the street has been hard hit, he added.

Abid Hayat said that Adviser to the PM on Petroleum Dr. Asim had promised to reopen all CNG stations on Jan 21st according to the former timetable which must be implemented.

He said that all the CNG outlets which have been closed by gas utility companies should also be reopened.

Mr. Hayat said that uninterrupted supply of gas to CNG filling stations will relieve masses, transport sector and the owners of the outlets facing acute uncertainty and that we will be highly thankful to Dr. Asim.

He said that energy shortages in the country call for expediting exploration of hydrocarbons and providing incentives as well as security to the investors.

CNG operators to open outlets unilaterally if demands not met: Paracha

Lahore, MTT News Desk: Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council of the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Thursday asked the government to restore gas supply to the CNG filling stations within two or three days otherwise we will have no option but to open outlets without consent of authorities

Speaking to a protest rally at Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore, which was part of the nationwide protest demonstrations against CNG closure and objectionable policies, Paracha said that staff of the CNG filling stations has no food to eat and nothing to cater for the needs of their families since months.

Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said that we cannot cooperate with government anymore on the cost of massive losses; governments reluctance to bring gas load shedding to an end amounts to forcing us to take law into our own hands.

The leader of the CNG sector said that government is trying to sabotage the long march of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri by creating scarcity of diesel and CNG. Gas has been suspended despite improvement in the weather conditions which proves ill intentions.

Earlier, the protestors blocked the Motorway link road, burned tyres and chanted slogans against illegal load shedding. The protestors included CNG operators, unemployed workers of CNG outlets, drivers, transporters, private vehicle owners and masses who are braving gas supply disruptions at homes.

The protestors were led by APCNGA leaders Captain (retd) Shuja, Majid Ansari, Irfan Ghouri, Samiuddin, Alim Butt. Rickshaw Union was represented by Majeed Ghouri and Baghi Khan while transporters were represented by Khokar Group.

The protestors condemned load shedding and unjust distribution of gas and termed it against the rights of masses. They demanded immediate removal of Dr. Asim, adviser to PM on energy due to his controversial decisions and changes in the CNG policy.

The adviser has left millions of workers in CNG stations and workshops jobless while investments in the CNG sector to the tune of Rs400 billion are at stake, they said.

Transporters said that they cannot meet the expanses in current fare while using expansive imported fuel therefore will be side-by-side with APCNGA in every protest.

APCNGA says energy crisis engineered to meet objectives

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Friday said that on-going CNG crisis is artificial which has been engineered to boost imports of petrol, LPG and LNG to benefit certain lobbies on the cost of the country.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain is behind the energy crisis which has crippled economy; he is biggest block in resolution of crisis therefore he should resign immediately, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA.

Speaking at a press conference, here today, he said that government is not trying to stop theft of gas gaining new proportions but destroying CNG sector to meet their unholy objectives.

Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said that CNG sector has no alternative to operate therefore gas load shedding should be stopped, gas prices and taxes should be brought at par with other gas-consuming sectors otherwise APCNGA will start a protest movement from January 8th.

Later another peaceful demonstration will be carried out in Islamabad in which transporters and masses will also participate.

Transporters and consumers would also join hands with CNG operators to get their rights protected, he underscored.

The leader of the CNG sector said that politicians and bureaucracy is directly involved in the longest CNG crisis in the countrys history. They have made life miserable for 180 million people for personal welfare.

These elements are getting controversial policies approved and promoting influential sectors who would not pay proper taxes but lend support during upcoming elections.

Government had wicked objectives since the Supreme Court took note of the CNG issue; they delayed resolution of the problem for two and a half months under the pretext of policy guidelines and later came up with idea to close CNG filling stations, ban use of economical fuel in private vehicles and introduce costly liquid gasses.

The top officials also conspired to create gulf between CNG sector and masses while their objectionable decision have so far resulted in losses to the tune of billions to CNG station owners, tax collection mechanism and poor masses, he informed.

The ECC sub-committee formed to hammer out the issue was not allowed to work and later they were forced to announce a pricing that was not sustainable, he said.

Paracha said that government want to divert attention of masses from their failures by keeping them busy and confused. It also wants to promote petroleum, LPG and LNG mafias, justify purchase of a scrap LPG terminal on inflated rates.

He said that a mafia is calling the shots which have systematically removed patriotic and honest elements from petroleum ministry and related departments to ensure uninterrupted corrupt practices.

The energy crisis would have been resolved earlier has the adviser, who is a Canadian national focused on its resolution but unfortunately he run on all cylinders to destroy CNG sector hurting millions, he added.

A just and legal distribution of natural gas would have saved a lot of foreign exchange presently being wasted on addition petroleum imports.

Dr. Asim is behind to flight of multinational oil and gas companies from Pakistan therefore he should be immediately relieved and made to act as a doctor in his hospital only.

He asked as to why Dr. Asim has become a party in gas theft sheltering the corrupt; why he has never taken ECC or Cabinet into gas load shedding schedule, and why he is providing gas to captive power plants running on 20 per cent efficiency while Cabinet members say that gas can be best utilised by providing it to efficient power producing units which will end the crisis.

Paracha further said that Dr. Asim should come up with a clarification for forcing companies to appoint local agents of his choice for Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project which delayed the whole matter.

Why Byco is being exempted from tax for 20 years, why all refiners are being forced to open LCs with PSO and what was wisdom behind Bakri Oil which has resulted in a NAB probe.

He said that the adviser is forcing PSO to step into LPG business, over pricing low BTU gas to $ 9 and how come new companies announced injecting additional gas after announcement of Petroleum Policy 2012 which was previously held back.

The energy ministry extorted Rs 500 billion from masses and spent billions over IP, TAPI, LNG import with no results which is one of the biggest scam of the nations history.

Paracha said why Dr. Asim is holding meetings with textile and urea sector which does not fall under the ambit of his ministry while ignoring CNG stakeholders who are directly related to the job entrusted on him by the incumbent democratic government.

IWCCI suggests scrapping controversial GIDC

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) on Sunday said that Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) should be abolished as it has failed to meet the stated objectives.

Supreme Court should review legal and constitutional position of the fee to provide relief to masses and the business community, said President IWCCI Farida Rashid.

Speaking to business community, she said that Parliament passed the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Act 2011 in November last year and imposed it on January 12th 2012 while rates were revised upward on July 1st.

Farida Rashid said that masses were told that the levy will help settle energy crisis as the money raised will be used to finance import of gas from Iran and Turkmenistan and establishing infrastructure to import LNG.

However, the ministry of petroleum could not initiate anything concrete to prefer to depend on statements and claims which has left the surcharge useless.

Funds are being collected to the tune of billions of rupees per month while there is no progress on the ground which has resulted in some 5000 law suits in courts filed by individuals, manufacturers, and businessmen associations, she informed.

Those who have moved courts have not only faced hike in cost of doing business but they also fear that their money will not be used for the purpose for which the tax is being raised.

Farida Rashid said that some estimates suggest that government has so far collected around 86 billion rupees and masses have a right to know who is spending this amount and for what motive.

The cess has substantially pushed cost of doing business at a time when businesses desperately need to stay competitive in the region and the rest of the world, she said.

Farida Rashid suggested that the tax should be scrapped or its utilisation should not be left to petroleum ministry only to ensure early removal of gas shortages which will also help create jobs, end defaults, stop closures, invite fresh investments and revive exports.

Sayeed supports policy rate cut in upcoming SBP review

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Director Pak-UK Business Council and Chairman FPCCI Committee on Health Tariq Mehmood on Tuesday asked the government to cut interest rates in the upcoming SBP review to spur growth.

Economy is showing positive signs while inflation has hit lowest level in five and a half years which supports the demand for cut in rate to boost economy, he said.

He said that holding policy rate in upcoming review by the SBP may not help recent recovery in some critical industrial and agricultural sectors.

Inflation has dropped due to multiple factors including improved food supply and trade liberalisation with India which should be a wakeup call for critics, said Tariq Mehmood who is also former president Attock Chamber of Commerce.

He said that in a recent interaction with business community, VP CACCI Tariq Sayeed said that steps should be taken to block return of double-digit inflation.

The economy will recover at fast pace if the SBP eases its monetary policy to ensure effective lending rates which will boost private sector demand for bank credit, he quoted former President of FPCCI as well as Saarc CCI Tariq Sayeed as saying.

A decline in the government borrowing will push the banks to lend more to the private sector ensuring revival said Sayeed adding that some banks have already started lending more to private sector and that this trend can only be sustained.

At the occasion, Tariq Mehmood lauded the role of Sayeed in bringing Saarc countries closer and focusing on China for enhanced trade.

A pro-growth policy would help government reduce borrowing, cut domestic debt servicing cost and boost developmental spending, he said.

Tariq Mehmood said that liberalised trade with India, as envisioned by our leaders, will not only reduce inflation and create stability but also benefit majority of the worlds population living in the region.

Energy bureaucracy complicated the issue of CNG prices after SC decision

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Monday said that energy bureaucracy has deliberately complicated the simple issue of CNG pricing after the landmark decision of the Supreme Court (SC) in a bid to deprive masses of economical fuel, reward influential sectors and pave way for additional imports of costly fossil fuel.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), independent auditors and parliamentarians have accepted that current retail price of CNG is not sustainable but at the same time nation is being misguided regarding excessive profit margins of CNG operators, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA.

Speaking to a press conference at a local hotel, he expressed disappointment over repeated statements by top government functionaries to phase-out CNG sector which is using only six per cent of the total gas production.

He said that following the people-friendly verdict of the SC no one tried to understand the issue while some elements in the government used all their energies to confuse the situation to turn judiciary and masses against the CNG sector.

Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha asked the President and Prime Minister to take note of the plot which is hurting owners of 3.5 million vehicles using CNG, proprietors and staff of 3400 CNG outlets and millions of commuters.

He said that authorities are deliberately delaying announcement of the prices and implementation of report prepared by auditors to sabotage the Supreme Court decision, enrage masses and cripple CNG operators financially.

We have a right to ask why we were forced for an agreement in 2008, now how this agreement has been scraped unilaterally and who directed Ogra to reduce prices to unmanageable levels, said Paracha.

He said that the SC had also raised objections on wellhead prices and directed a forensic audit but no move has been initiated in this direction.

Paracha said that government is buying gas at Rs 18 and Rs 850 per unit from different wells located in the same area while the difference is adjusted through cross-subsidy.

Government is buying gas from Qadirpur field at $2.56 per mmbtu while it is paying 8.5 dollars to Kadan Wari gas field for the same which merits a probe, he demanded.

Now, energy ministry has initiated efforts to increase the buying price of gas from producers which will put an additional burden of Rs 122 billion on masses which is a conspiracy.

Government is presenting cooked statistics against CNG sector using 6 per cent of the gas to reward influential sectors reaping benefits of their contacts with those who matter the most, he said.

He rejected decisions and statements regarding imposing additional taxes on CNG operators, barring vehicle owners from buying CNG, closing down filling stations for two months during winter, cancellation of licences of stations using extra gas, reducing operational cost to zero and closing down 400 CNG stations.

He said that we are also Pakistanis, we have a right to live and we will never compromise on interests of masses.

Low gas pressure despite CNG strike unjustified

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) President Farida Rashid on Saturday said that low gas pressure despite CNG strike is unacceptable.

Expressing concern over low gas pressure for domestic and industrial consumers she said that daily life and businesses have been badly affected due to inconsistent gas pressure.

Talking to women entrepreneurs, she said that gas distribution companies should clarify as to why masses are being punished in winter, she said.

Farida Rashid said that thousands of businesses are suffering due to mismanagement of the authorities while homemakers are unable to cook food, provide breakfast or even tea to school-going children.

On the other hand, the costly alternative of LPG is not affordable for majority. She asked the government to check LPG mafia which is in habit of extracting more from masses as the demand increase in winter.

Farida Rashid asked the SNGPL and SSGC management to clarify as to why gas pressure is below the acceptable limits when CNG sector is not consuming the gas.

She said that government has been punishing masses in biting weather while claiming that domestic sector in on top of their priority list.

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