PPI Original Text (PPI-OT) – Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges government to hold talks with Compressed Natural Gas Association

Lahore, June 05, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Tuesday urged the government to immediately initiate talks with CNG Association and solve their issues as protests and strikes had already pushed the country to the wall and its economy is facing multiple internal and external challenges.

The LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh expressed these views while talking to Senior Vice Chairman All Pakistan CNG Association Capt. ® Shujah Anwar, Chairman, Lahore Chapter of CNG Association Sami Udddin, Senior Vice Chairman Lahore Aleem Butt, and Khawaja Baber, General Secretary, Punjab during a visit to a protest camp.

The LCCI President said that the government decision to impose heavy taxes on the CNG would ruin an investment of Rs 500 billion made in the sector. He said that jacking up of the CNG prices would also dent government reputation in the eyes of the common man who is the real user of the cheaper fuel.

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry understands that the government decision the make bulk increase in CNG prices is unjustified therefore it would continue to support the association for their just cause.

The LCCI president said that this unjustified decision would also affect both the local and the foreign investments in the country as no new investor would dare make new investment when the government would try to implement such unilateral anti-business decisions.

The CNG Association office-bearers informed the LCCI President that protests and demonstrations across the country against hike in CNG price and imposition of more CESS on CNG will continue.

They said that the association rejects any increase in the CESS tax on CNG in the budget therefore all CNG stations of Pakistan will remain closed for indefinite period.

“Strongly rejecting the time and again increase in CNG prices, they termed it a well-cooked conspiracy against the sole profitable industry of the country. They said that people will not buy Rs 100 per Kilogram CNG as they were already pressed by high gas and power prices in the country. They added that the CNG association will condemn any government decision which might resort to bring increase in CNG prices and would resist it tooth and nail.

“An increase gas development surcharge up to 300 percent from the current 147 percent is also on cards that would result further surge in CNG prices, they said. They alleged that at times there was artificial scarcity of natural gas created in the country and CNG industry was held responsible for the same by government, though the latter only consume 8 percent of the total natural gas production in the country.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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