Friday, December 21, 2012

Privatize Gas Fields or Nationalize the CNG Stations!

Ordinary Pakistanis are in the jaws of another government-created crisis: they are facing shortage of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in their homes as well as in their vehicles. The other side of the coin is the industrial sector suffering a lot due to the shortage and limited supply of the CNG.

Years back caught in a fever of Greenism and making policies with no insight into the future, the government promoted CNG. When everything has gone Green, it was revealed that there was no more CNG to feed those who shifted to the use of CNG. Rationing started, and another venue for huge corruption opened. It is in addition to the bucks OGRA (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources are making.

In many a city, for most of the time factories are closed, and there are strikes by unemployed factory workers. And there are long queues of vehicles at the CNG Stations, and the time it takes to get the CNG may increase 3 to 4 or more hours. Trapped in its own doing, the government linked the CNG price to the price of petrol, costlier than the CNG.

Somehow, the case landed in the Supreme Court, and it came out that the CNG stations were in collusion with the OGRA, and were earning a commission of more than Rs.30 per kilogram of CNG. It was outrageous, and a proof that how regulatory bodies are criminally involved in selling out the interests of the ordinary citizens of Pakistan.

The government has to slash the CNG price, and the CNG stations earning exorbitant profits closed the stations, and went on strike.

In the midst of this, I was thinking of writing a piece advocating the privatization of domestic Gas Fields so that private sector is able to allocate the CNG resource efficiently and market forces respond to it accordingly. And, as for the role of the government, it is not clear how it is to allocate the limited supply of the CNG to this or that sector on the basis of this or that wisdom, and no doubt that opens the floodgates for corruption. However, a justified role for the government is to regulate this sector to protect the interests of the citizens, and with the understanding that regulation should not amount to stifling of the sector.

However, the Communist Party of Pakistan took lead and started a campaign exhorting the government to nationalize the CNG stations. A rally to demand the same was organized in Rawalpindi on December 16.  Also, the CPP filed a petition in the Supreme Court praying to issue an order to nationalize the 4,125 or so CNG station across the country. Engineer Jameel Ahmad Malik, Central Chairman Communist Party of Pakistan, in his plea stated that ‘the solution of common man’s problem is in socialism, not in democracy.”

Here is a poster announcing the same demand:

The way Communist Party of Pakistan is seeing the problems facing ordinary Pakistani citizens, and the way it is acting to resolve them, the day is not far away when it will ask for nationalizing even the petrol filling stations, shops, street vendors and what not!

Wishing the Communist Party of Pakistan and the communists of Pakistan best of luck!

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1 comment:

  1. Keeping in view all what the Socialist groups doing / did and achieved in Indo-Pak, it clearly forced us to draw fol conclusions:

    1. they have and they had low intellect to draw the practical conclusion and way of action
    2.They are and they were agent of some agencies to follow and to fulfill some special agenda
    3. They have / had no agenda to serve the people /masses and only they work when they are given some aid outside to sabotage masses nationalistic movements.

    Sham to all SO CALLED socialist parties if they are not capable to exploit the present situations and economic frustrations of masses.

    All it indicative of their low commitment, poor work strategy and poor influencing ability as compare to the fundamentalist group who have launched many TV channels for to achieve their aims/Objectives???