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CNG refuelling station owners threaten strike from June 8

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CNG refueling station owners here on Saturday announced to enforce a strike for an indefinite period from June 8 if the government fails to implement their 5-point recommendation of an Energy Ministry committee by June 7.Addressing a post-general meeting press briefing in their association office, leaders of the Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Workshop Owners Association said the recommendations were made by the high-level Energy Ministry committee to resolve their problems.These 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 the high-level committee, and taking measures to install EVC meters at CNG stations.President of the CNG Owners' Association Zakir Hossain Nayan said they are giving the government 14 days' time before going for the strike to implement the recommendations. "The government will have to shoulder all the responsibilities if any unwanted incident takes place because of our strike."  "We've no option but to call the strike as we can't sustain our business in the face of continuous losses because of 67 percent rise in power tariff and 70 percent rise in CNG prices. All our expenses, including maintenance and operational costs, have gone up extensively," he told reporters.Zakir Hossain said, his association held the general meeting to discuss the issue and finally took the decision to go on strike for an indefinite period from June 8 if the government fails to accept their demands by the time.Earlier, at a similar press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) on May 17, they made the similar call to the government.Zakir squarely blamed Petrobangla chairman Dr Hussain Monsur for not giving heed to the recommendations of the Energy Ministry to resolve their problems.He said, the Energy Ministry has repeatedly directed its subordinate body to implement the recommendations. "He (Dr Hussain Monsur) ignored that directive.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 their association has 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.

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