KARACHI: CNG price on Saturday crossed the Rs100 per kg mark for the first time in the country’s history after the government hiked it by 40 per cent from Rs700 MMBTU to Rs980 per MMBTU.
Station owners in Karachi are now charging Rs103-104 per kg and Rs100-101 per kg in other parts of Sindh as against the previous Rs81.70 per kg.
Office-bearers of various associations had hinted two days ago that they would move courts or stage a protest or close gas stations, but on Saturday they jointly decided to pass on the price hike to the consumers.
“The government has not responded to our request for not hiking gas prices.
The decision will prove disastrous for both the consumers as well as the industry,” CNG Dealers Association chairman Abdul Sami Khan said.
When CNG was sold at Rs81.70 per kg and petrol was priced Rs93.30 per litre the saving on running a vehicle on gas was 40pc, but it has now fallen to 20-25pc after the recent price hike, he said.
All Pakistan CNG Forum chairman Shabbir Sulemanji said CNG prices at majority of stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa now hover at Rs108-115 per kg as compared to Rs87-96 because cost of gas is higher in KP as compared to other provinces.
He said public / private vehicle owners in some areas indulged in arguments with CNG station workers over the increase in prices.
Mr Shabbir claimed that using CNG in a vehicle would still save 20pc as against 40pc earlier.
“Our members have also started downsizing to offset rising cost of running a station,” he claimed. At least two people out of six at one CNG station would lose their jobs, he added.
He said the commuters would also face additional burden of paying higher transportation charges as 70pc buses are plying on CNG. Transportation of vegetables and fruits from Sabzi Mandi on Super Highway to Karachi city will cost more. People will also have to pay more to CNG van owners transporting their children to schools, he added.
Tandoori roti and Chapati will cost one or two rupees more, while Sheermal, Taftan and Kulcha will fetch two to five rupees extra.
The CNG was sold at Rs67.50 per kg in December 2016 when it was deregulated by the government.
Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2018