Govt bans import of CNG cylinders, conversion kits

Posted on December 16, 2011. Filed under: Natural Gas, Pakistan |

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet has approved a ban on the import of CNG cylinders and conversion kits in the wake of the current gas shortage in the country.
The ECC which met here on Thursday with Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair also banned installation of new CNG kits in vehicles.
The existing stock and its owners shall be allowed to use their kits and cylinders, and no new licence shall be issued in this regard, the ECC decided. In the same way, CNG-fitted public transport vehicles i.e. buses/vans are exempted from this moratorium.
The ECC reviewed its previous proposal of monthly natural gas load management programme (winter 2011) on the SNGPL system, and decided to withdraw the previous approval of supply of 76 MMCFD gas to IPPs because of severe shortage of gas in the coming months and to enhance the gas supply to fertiliser plants.
The ECC also approved the summary “energy efficiency audit of fertiliser plants” and “ban of POL products export to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics” (CARs), proposed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.
The committee was informed that the actual condition is quite different as this import is being practiced only on paper and all these POL products are being sold here in Pakistan after going through the export process.
The ECC also decided that purchase of 200,000 tones of sugar will be re-tendered with certain modifications in the tender terms and conditions. Prior to this decision, the committee reviewed the sugar situation in the country and discussed in detail the proposal to purchase 200,000 tons of sugar from domestic sugar mills.
The finance minister appreciated the sub-committee’s effort in lowering the sugar pricefrom Rs63 to Rs53.73 on December 12. The committee directed the TCP to issue a gallop tender and finalise the process within the coming 10 to 12 days.
The ECC was of the opinion that previously blacklisted sugar mills will also be allowed to bid in this tender provided they deposit the penalty to the TCP. The committee discussed proposal of the Ministry of Industries for import of urea for the Rabi season 2011-12.
The ministry informed the ECC that import requirements of urea are 700,000 tones to meet overall demand of 3,400,000 tones, in which 200,000 tons have already been allowed. The petroleum minister added that import requirements of urea would increase further due to short supply of natural gas in the coming two months. The ECC discussed the proposal at length and decided to meet the remaining shortage of urea for Rabi 2011-12.
The finance minister being the chairman of the ECC enquired from the committee members about formula on the basis of which gas is provided to fertiliser plants, and took exception that despite provision of gas to certain plants they do not lower the prices of their products.
The minister also expressed concern on the pricing regime and subsidy provision and decided that a proper distribution mechanism be identified, and in this regard formed a committee headed by the petroleum minister and comprising secretaries of Water of Power, Production, Finance, Food, Industries and Planning Commission deputy chairman, to deal with fertiliser companies for fixing the urea price. The committee will report to the ECC in three to four days.
The committee also deliberated upon the distribution of available and imported urea, and directed the concerned ministry to ensure the pricing regime for the commodity.


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