The Ministry of Petroleum has withdrawn its previous proposal for a 17 per cent increase in gas price for compressed natural gas (CNG) stations and decided to seek a seven per cent increase following consultations with CNG station operators.
A formal approval in this regard will be given by the cabinet.
This is possibly the result of an announcement by All Pakistan CNG Association late last week that the operators would hold countrywide protests from July 13 against the proposed hefty increase in gas price.
Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain and association members held a meeting here on Monday to reach a common ground on gas prices and outages.
However, the ministry turned down the demand of CNG operators for a reduction in gas outages due to the demand and supply gap.
At present, the CNG price is equal to 48 per cent of petrol price and in case of increase in price, the ratio will rise to 55 per cent.
Earlier, the petroleum ministry had recommended to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet to jack up CNG price by 17 per cent.
“Now the Ministry of Petroleum and CNG association have agreed on taking the gas price for compressed natural gas outlets to 55 per cent of petrol price, a seven per cent increase,” a source said, adding the ministry would seek the go-ahead from the cabinet to implement the decision.
ECC has agreed in principle to raise gas prices from 10 to 96 per cent for different sectors under a rationalisation plan to end subsidies.
According to officials, the ministry will only amend the gas price proposal for CNG stations and no changes will be made for other sectors.
According to the ministry’s recommendations, a 15 per cent price increase has been sought for bulk domestic consumers, commercial consumers, cement and power plants of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC).
For the industrial sector including textile industry, captive power plants and feedstock of fertiliser plants, an 18.43 per cent increase has been demanded.
The ministry has sought a rise of 36.26 per cent in gas tariff for independent power plants (IPPs) while for the fertiliser sector it has proposed a hike of 96.06 per cent.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2011.
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