KARACHI: Former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain has said the gas crisis is not only hitting the economy and employment but has also blocked new investments.
The industrialist community is protesting all over the country which will also discourage foreign investors, Mian Zahid Hussain said. The CNG sector is paying the highest tariff for gas and paying the highest taxes but it is facing the ire of authorities while the influential sectors getting subsidized gas is being promoted which is astonishing, he added.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the environmentally friendly sector of CNG is being targeted since 2012 and now the number of CNG stations in Punjab has dropped from 2800 to almost one thousand wasting investments worth billions.
This sector is consuming only four percent of the gas but it is always first to get closure notice in case of scarcity as some officials have close ties with influential oil mafia who are hell-bent on destroying this sector.
The government provided relief to influential industrial sectors following the pandemic but this sector was ignored as it is being operated by middle-class investors, he observed.
The tax structure for this sector is modified in routine adding to the problems of investors, he said, adding that this sector should be allowed to operate for a few hours so that machinery remain operable and jobs remain intact which will provide some relief to the masses and revenue to the government.
The business leader noted that the closure of CNG outlets has left thousands unemployed while it is adding to urban pollution and oil import bill, therefore, the decision to suspend the supply of gas to this sector must be reconsidered.