ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday directed the Ministry of Energy to work out a plan so that poor domestic consumers in the lowest slab could face minimal impact of the proposed 191 per cent increase in gas tariff.
The prime minister issued the directives while presiding over a meeting pertaining to the gas sector.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet had on Wednesday approved in principle up to 191 per cent increase in gas price.
The average increase in gas rates would be around 25% as opposed to 31% recommended by the Petroleum Division based on the determination of the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).
The rise in gas tariff would generate about Rs510 billion in the next fiscal year for the two gas companies and meet their requirements of Rs487 billion and create about Rs23 billion surplus to take care of previous circular debt.
The summary also required a change in the billing mechanism to allow the benefit of one previous slab to domestic consumers.
The ministry officials presented a detailed briefing to the prime minister and how the recent increase in gas tariff would impact different segments of society.
In addition, the prime minister was also briefed about the current situation with regard to circular debt in the power sector.
The meeting recommended that residential consumers using gas under three slabs will not be burdened with additional tariff.
The prime minister was of the opinion that increase in the gas tariff would impact the fertiliser sector, ultimately putting pressure on farmers, an official said.
The prime minister directed the ministry to review gas tariff for the sector and asked that the proposed draft in this regard should be presented in the cabinet for approval.
Separately, a delegation of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-Pakistan) called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at his Chamber in the Parliament House.
The prime minister assured the delegation of implementing the agreement the two had reached in toto.
The prime minister also constituted a committee headed by Jahangir Tareen to address reservations of the MQM-P in this regard.
The MQM delegation requested the prime minister to announce special package for Karachi and Hyderabad.
The delegation included Minister for Information Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Sabir Hussain Qaimkhani, Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan, Sayed Amin ul Haq, Usama Qadri and Kishwar Zuhra.
Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Special Assistants Naeem ul Haq and Nadeem Afzal Chann were also present in the meeting.