CNG vehicle adoption sluggish, lower VAT to boost demand in Goa: Gas co

Panaji: Despite being cleaner and cheaper, adoption of CNG vehicles in Goa remains relatively poor as compared to neighbouring states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

 Goa Natural Gas Pvt Ltd (GNGPL), which is the nodal agency to roll out CNG and domestic piped natural gas in North Goa, has approached the state government asking for a favourable tax regime on CNG.GNGPL is a joint venture between BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd) and GAIL (Gas Authority of India Ltd).

We want to bring more CNG vehicles on the road. The first reason we want to promote CNG is to reduce pollution, CNG vehicles are less polluting said GNGPL chief executive officer Mohammed Zafar Khan. The government should be considering that we should have a tax structure in line with the neighbouring states. That will be a complete game changer for the CNG industry Chief financial officer of Goa Natural Gas Pvt Ltd, Nilay Vakil, said that, in Maharashtra, VAT on CNG is 3%, in Karnataka it is 5.5%, but Goa levies 12.5% VAT on CNG.

“We are talking to the ministry and the state government to reduce the VAT so that the benefit can be passed on to the customer,” said Vakil. “Domestic gas prices have seen a three-fold increase since January, this year, but CNG prices have increased by just 1.5 times.

 All these prices have increased because of the volatility in the international oil market.

”GNGPL officials said that very few CNG vehicles are sold in Goa because of the lack of CNG refuelling stations, lack of supply from automobile dealers and the lack of awareness about the price benefits. Car dealers do not push sales of CNG vehicles because CNG infrastructure in Goa is not widely available.

At present, there are six CNG stations in North Goa, which sell 4,000kg of CNG on a daily average. GNGPL plans to start four more CNG Stations by the end of March 31, with two CNG stations expected to be commissioned soon.

“GNGPL has planned to increase their spread in terms of supply of CNG within the authorised area in near future. For this purpose, GNGPL has identified few locations for setting up different types of CNG facilities, which will help the company to increase the conversions leading to increase in sales of CNG. Locations are identified considering few factors like adequate space, location, demand potential and steel pipeline connectivity,” Khan said.

To incentivise purchases of CNG vehicles, GNGPL has tied up with Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Mahindra dealerships offering benefits to those purchasing new CNG vehicles. Those buying new CNG vehicles in Goa or converting their existing conventional fuel vehicles to CNG will get monetary benefits added to their fast tags.

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