Pakistan News

CNG dealers protest imposition of gas cess

CNG dealers protest imposition of gas cess

PESHAWAR: Reacting to the imposition of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) by the federal government, the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Monday observed a sit-in on Sher Shah Suri Road outside Governor House here, and asked the government to withdraw the decision.

Holding banners and placards inscribed with demands for resolving the GIDC issue, the protesters shouted slogans against the federal government and its policies. “We are not ready to accept discriminatory policies,” the protesters shouted while marching from Peshawar Press Club towards Governor House amid tight security arrangements.

Speaking on the occasion, APCNGA provincial chairman Fazl-i-Muqeem Khan said increased GIDC had been imposed in the underdeveloped province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Besides others, central leader of APCNGA Ghayas Paracha, vice chairman Khalil Khan and others also joined the rally.

Mr Muqeem said imposition of GIDC would bring price of CNG equal to petrol which would result in closure of CNG business in the militancy-hit province and thousands of employees would lose their jobs.

He said the GIDC was violation of the constitutional rights of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which would not be allowed as the industry could not bear the illogical burden.

The APCNGA leader said Peshawar High Court had already declared GIDC as illegal on June 13, 2013 while Supreme Court had also upheld the verdict on August 22 last year, but even then the cess was made part of the law. He said that the government should resolve all the issues after consultation with relevant sectors so that the country’s economy and individuals would not suffer due to an irrational decision.

The protesters included CNG operators from Peshawar, Swat, Hazara, Nowshera, Swabi, Kohat and other cities. They said that they would never compromise on their rights. “We will not succumb to any pressure and will continue our protest till acceptance of our demand as we have invested entire capital in the CNG sector,” the CNG dealers said.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2015

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