ISLAMABAD - Terming the SNGPL decision to suspend gas supply to CNG sector in Punjab as unilateral, unconstitutional and ill timed, leader of CNG association (APCNGA) Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha on Thursday warned of severe protest across the country if gas supply not restored.

Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha issued this warning while speaking in a press conference held here on Thursday, following the closure of supply of natural gas to the compressed natural gas (CNG) sector for indefinite period. He said the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has taken this decision prior to the approval of government and despite stiff opposition from the Planning Commission of Pakistan, which is illegal and unconstitutional.  In his address he also requested the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to intervene to save millions of jobs and billions of investments so far made in the CNG industry.  “The unilateral and ill-timed decision has disturbed the daily life while posing serious threat to Rs 450 billion investments in the CNG sector, he said, adding, “Load management is meant reduction in gas supply and that the CNG operators will not allow complete closure in the name of management which is total exploitation.”

He further said that the decision of SNGPL is one-sided and mistaken which has resulted in inflation, hike in transport fares, disturbance in daily life, black marketing of petrol, hike in LPG prices by Rs 40 per kg, and reduction in forex reserves which is pushing country toward a catastrophe, he informed.

On one hand government has been introducing employment schemes while on the other supporting decision which will result in massive unemployment and non-serviceability of tens of thousands of commercial and private vehicles, he observed.

He also said that our filling stations are closed across Punjab and there is reduced pressure in the provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the domestic consumers are not getting gas which merits question that where it is flowing silently.

Paracha said that the decision of Supreme Court proved that CNG sector has been paying highest tariff and maximum taxes but it is subjected to injustices. He said that suspension orders should be reversed, gas should be supplied to CNG outlets from 9 am to 7 pm without interruption, cases be registered against those responsible for gas crisis, and government should honour agreements.

However, Paracha informed the media persons that a delegation of APCNGA would call on Minister for Petroleum on Friday to get issue resolved otherwise we would be compelled to lay off workers after which nationwide peaceful protests would be initiated while government would be sole responsible for all the losses.