LAHORE: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has said prices of gas are likely to be surged by 75 per cent to 80 per cent in the next fiscal year as such hike has become ‘inevitable’.
“The prices of gas would likely to be increased by 75% to 80%. The new rates will be implemented from the next fiscal year,” said Ogra Chairperson Uzma Adil on Monday while talking to media after a public hearing of Ogra. “That surge in gas prices is inevitable,” she added.
She said purchase price of gas has increased, affecting the buying-selling difference. Gas rates have not been increased for two years. Increase in exchange rate of dollar is also a factor behind this increase.
The Ogra chairperson categorically said there is no chance of bankruptcy of any gas company and the government would not let that happen.
To a question regarding reasons behind gas overbilling in winters, the chairperson said the fourth gas slab and pressure factor were the reasons behind overbilling.
“The consumers who were overcharged will be refunded. The prime minister’s committee will determine who was responsible for overbilling,” she added.
Earlier, representatives of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and other companies demanded a hike in gas prices during the hearing.
Speaking at the public hearing, central leader of the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) Ghiyas Paracha said recovery of all the losses from the CNG sector is unjustified and unacceptable.
“Gas worth Rs48 billion is being stolen. 93% gas is stolen in the district Karak and gas officials are involved in this theft,” he added. Pointing out weakness in the gas billing and measurement system, he said gas consumers are being overcharged.
“The SNGPL has demanded Rs723 per mmbtu increase in gas tariff and Rs111 per mmbtu increase in the LNG tariff. If demand of the company is accepted then the burden of this price hike will be on consumers’ shoulder,” he added.
He said the volume of gas continues to increase but the charges of gas distributors are not decreasing but are rather increasing. He said payment for post terminal expanses like regasification, transportation, and UFG should be made in the rupee and not in the dollar.
“If our suggestions are accepted, gas prices will be reduced not increased,” he added.