CNG pump owners threaten strike

CNG pump owners threaten strike

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CNG fuel station owners on Saturday threatened to go on strike if the government fails to meet the 5-point recommendation made by a high-level Energy Ministry Committee to solve their problems.   “We’ll wait until our next meeting on Saturday next. If, by this time, steps are not taken to meet our demands, we will go for greater action programmes, including strike”, Zakir Hossain Nayon, president of the Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Workshop Owners Association told a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity.   The Energy Ministry’s committee recommendations include raising CNG (compressed natural gas) price when power tariff is raised, enhancing station owners’ commission margin to Tk 2.98 from Tk 0.12 on the sale of per cubic meter of CNG, issuing 15 days gas bill instead of monthly bill by gas companies, putting forward the issue of new gas connection to 54 CNG pumps to a high level committee, and taking measures to install EVC meter at the CNG pumps.   Zakir said that the recommendations were drawn up by a high level committee headed by an
additional secretary of the Energy Ministry, which was formed by the government following an understanding with the Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Workshop Owners Association at one stage of their movement last year.   He said the Energy Ministry forwarded the recommendations to the state-owned Petrobangla asking its subordinate body to implement those. It has been now the jurisdiction and responsibility of the Petrobangla to implement them.   “But unfortunately the Peyrobangla chairman is not taking steps to implement those for unknown reasons although 5 months have already gone after the recommendations were sent to him”, he said.   He said that the Energy Ministry has sent a further instruction to the Petrobangla. “But Petrobangla does not heed the matter”, he alleged. Zakir said they can’t afford to continue their business because of increased operational cost of the CNG pumps by the power tariff hike.  “Power tariff was raised by 67 percent and CNG price was raised by 70 percent in last 4 years without any raise in our commission on sales. We’re suffering losses, he said.   Vice President of the Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Workshop Owners Association Iraj Ali, organising secretary Safiuddin, and finance secretary Alamgir Khan were, among other leaders, present at the press conference.   The leaders said that their association already sent separate letters to State Minister for Energy and Power Nasrul Hamid on May 11 and Prime Minister’s Advisor Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on May 12 to take steps to meet their demands. –UNB

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