Substandard LPG cylinders are ticking bombs and live.
KARACHI: LPG Industries Association Chairman Irfan Khokhar, while talking to a group of reporters recently, stated that former Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali laid the foundation stone of Asia’s largest LPG plant on 16 March 2004 and the then President General Musharraf inaugurated the JJVL in January 31, 2005. In just 15 years of continuous operation, the government exchequer collected over 20 billion rupees in terms of taxes and duties, says a Press release.
He said that gas supply to JJVL was not restored by SSGC despite the recommendations of the ECC Committee on August 2, 2020 and instructions from Director General LG Dr. Nawaz Ahmed Virk, Ministry of Petroleum on October 1, 2021. The Jamshoro plant was set up at a cost of Rs 40 billion with 50% external investment.
It was due to the JJVL plant LPG and NGL of billions of rupees was saved, he said, adding that the processed gases was later used to meet the energy needs of remote and mountainous areas of Pakistan (where natural gas pipelines do not exist) and NGLs were sold abroad. JJVL has not only benefited SSGC but also added billions of rupees to the government exchequer. Over 5,000 people got employment at the JVL.
He highlighted that due to the agreement between SSGC and JJVL from March 2005 to December 3, 2013, SSGC earned a profit of Rs.20.859 billion in royalty and Rs.18.908 billion in gas shrinkage, fuel and transportation. The total profit stood at Rs 39.767 billion.
Since JJVL became operational till June 2020, a total of 1.720 thousand metric tons of LPG and 6.12 thousand metric tons of NGL have been produced, from which payments of about Rs.85 billion have been made to the state-owned company SSGC, Khokhar highlighted, adding that in just 15 years from 2005 to the closure of JJVL in June 2020, the government exchequer increased by around Rs 20 billion in taxes and duties alone. If calculated the losses due to the JJVL closure it amounts to Rs 80.85 in rough figures. Khokhar stressed.
With the advent of JJVL in 2005, the LPG Auto Policy was formulated and after the approval of OGRA, LPG Auto Gas Stations started to be set up and at the same time approved the use of LPG as a fuel in the auto sector.
On the issue of substandard cylinder manufacturing, the Liquefied petroleum gas Industries chairman highlighted that due to the historic natural gas shortfall across the country, people are shifting to LPG. Those who manufacture and sell sub-standard LPG cylinders are selling them in public at the risk of millions of people’s lives. With the increase in LPG consumption, incidents of substandard LPG cylinders burst in shops, homes and restaurants are increasing, he pointed out.
OGRA authority and other responsible government bodies have not taken any measures to ensure the safety of LPG consumers, he asserted, explaining according to the statistics of Liquefied petroleum gas distributors, more than 4,000 innocent people have lost their lives in the last 15 years while more than 10,000 have been injured and around 2,000 physically disabled.
The district administration should take action against the manufacturers of substandard Liquefied petroleum gas cylinders, he said, adding every month, OGRA writes to the chief secretaries of all provincial governments for effective implementation of laws and check and action against those who manufacture sub-standard Liquefied petroleum gas cylinders.
Substandard LPG cylinders are abundant from house to house across the country, which can lead to major accidents. The LPG Act should be amended to issue a death penalty law against the makers of these death toys, he concluded.