CNG pump owners' demands likely to get through
At least three out of the six demands of the CNG pump owners, who recently postponed a countrywide strike programme responding to the government request, are likely to be met by the government within the next few days.
According to official sources, the energy ministry recently directed Petrobangla to take necessary measures in this regard.
Following the directive, Petrobangla also subsequently instructed its subordinate gas companies to take necessary moves to implement the demands.
The demands that are likely to be resolved include billing of consumed gas on the basis of actual gas pressure and meter reading instead of sanctioned minimum bill, accepting bank guarantee instead of cash deposit in case of awarding licence and installing electronic volume meter at pump stations to make correct billing.
But on the issue of three other demands, the energy ministry and Petrobangla are taking time as those involved decisions of the government's highest policy making body and some other departments and agencies.
The remaining demands include reducing gas price, decreasing licence fee to Tk 5,000 from existing Tk 100,000, and exempting the pump owners from `no objection' certificate of the Department of Environment.
All these three matters are beyond the absolute jurisdiction of the energy ministry and Petrobangla.
The issue of reducing gas price is a matter to be decided by the government's highest policymakers, particularly the Prime Minister's Office, while the licence fee issue is involved with the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) and the environmental clearance certificate involves the environment ministry.
They said the energy ministry is in the process to pursue the matters with the other concerned offices to resolve the issues.
Officials said following Petrobangla's instruction, Titas Gas Company, the biggest gas distribution entity in the country, has prepared to place the issue of pressure-based gas billing, bank guarantee and meter installation to its board meeting scheduled to be held on September 7.
The CNG pump owners hope that the Titas Gas Board will positively consider these matters.