ISLAMABAD(LAHORE), 19 July: The LPG Industry Association warned that it would cut off gas supply to the whole country on July 31 if the government did not accept its demands.
Traders associated with LPG industry have refused to accept the government’s new policy. They demanded that the regulatory duty on LPG being imported through land route be abolished.
“LPG is the fuel for the poor and the industry should be declared tax free,” the association’s chairman Irfan Khokhar said at a convention in Lahore.
He urged that the Jamshoro joint venture should be started immediately to increase LPG production.
Khokhar also demanded that direct interference of police in the transfer of LPG should be stopped immediately.
He said that in case of any violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs), the staff of civil defence and town offices should take action on the order of an assistant commissioner and deputy commissioner instead of the police.
Khokhar claimed that “substandard” cylinders, walls and buzzers were being manufactured from used iron drums in Gujranwala that caused an explosion.
He demanded immediate closure of the factories manufacturing them.
“If our demands are not met, we will close the Lahore metro bus service today. There will be a nationwide strike on July 31 and gas supply to the entire country will be cut off.”
LPG association officials and participants from other cities who attended the convention reached Kalma Chowk in the form of a rally and blocked the track of the Lahore metro bus service. They chanted slogans against the police.
The metro bus service was temporarily suspended due to protests by LPG distributors, after which metro buses coming and going from Shahdara and Gajumata were stopped at Kalma Chowk and Gaddafi metro bus stations.
Khokhar recently complained that the price of the gas had been increased by Rs5 per kg “in the black market under the patronage of police and government officials”.
He added that a domestic cylinder was being sold at Rs1,950 after an increase of Rs60.
Similarly, the price of commercial cylinder has been increased by Rs225. “It is being sold at Rs7,490,” Khokhar added. The price of LPG in Gilgit has reached Rs185 per kg.