ISLAMABAD - Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Tuesday said that sale of indigenous gas/CNG in liters instead of kilos in Sindh was ‘illegal’.

“Only the imported gas-based CNG (RLNG) was de-regulated whereas the CNG stations in Sindh are not using imported gas, so far. Therefore, CNG stations that are using local gas for CNG (compressed natural gas) cannot sell in liters,” the authority spokesman said in a press statement.

The Authority has communicated to the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) that the maximum sale prices of CNG, notified by it on August 31, 2015 at Rs75.82 per kg for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Potohar region (Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Gujar Khan) and Rs67.50 per kg for Sindh and Punjab apply to all indigenous gas based CNG stations.

“Any CNG station, charging rates other than those notified by OGRA, is doing an illegal act, and action shall be taken against violators as per law,” the spokesman added.

The Authority has further observed that the last year’s notification had been issued under the relevant law and in pursuance of the decisions of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC). “Therefore, all the CNG stations are legally bound to sell local gas-based CNG in kilograms and not in liters,” the statement said. In this regard, OGRA has also advised the CNG Association to submit to it proposals for consideration as per law and in accordance with policy of the government.

It is pertinent to mention here that last week, APCNGA had unilaterally converted sale of CNG, which was earlier being sold in kilograms, into liters in Sindh, without seeking consent from any competent authority.

APCNGA took the plea that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had nothing to do with gas prices determination or converting its sale into liters or kilos, as its 2009 ordinance had already expired.

It added that the federal Ministry of Law had precluded Ogra’s role in the determination of CNG retail price.

“APCNGA has been approaching OGRA repeatedly to review the CNG retail prices owing to substantial incremental changes in the value of factors that determine the CNG retail price,” it said.

“The apathy exhibited by OGRA in the last four years has inflicted colossal financial losses on the CNG sector as a whole,” the CNG association alleged.

After having learnt that OGRA has no powers to notify the CNG retail price, and has not acceded to the repeated appeals by the CNG sector, the situation has compelled the market to determine its competitive price for CNG.