‘Gas bomb’ dropped on public as soon as government approves massive price hike

The flame burns on the gas stove.  - AFP/File
The flame burns on the gas stove. – AFP/File
  • Local gas charges for non-protected domestic consumers increased by 173%.
  • Rates for business users increased 136.4%; 83% for non-export industries.
  • The monthly fixed fee for protected users has also been increased to Rs 400.

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government on Monday dropped a gas bomb on the inflation-hit public by approving a steep increase in gas prices, which will come into effect from November 1 (Wednesday).

The government has increased local gas tariffs by 173% for non-reserved domestic consumers, 136.4% for commercial, 91% for export and 83% for non-export industry.

As per the approved summary, the fixed monthly charges were revised from Rs 10 to Rs 400 for protected consumers, from Rs 460 to Rs 1000 for non-protected and to Rs 2000 for higher slabs.

New rates.  - Electrical Division
New rates. – Electrical Division

The price for non-reserved users consuming up to 0.25 cubic meter will be Rs 121 per MMBtu, for users consuming up to 0.5 cubic meter the price will be Rs 150 per MMBtu, for users consuming up to 0.60 cubic meter the price will be Rs 200 per MMBtu, while Up to 0.9 cubic meter it will be Rs 250 per MMBTU.

The rates for people using 1 cubic meter of gas per month have been increased to Rs 1,000 per MMBtu from the previous Rs 400 per MMBtu.

Gas users up to 1.5 cubic meters – who were earlier paying Rs 600 per MMBtu – will now have to pay Rs 1,200 per MMBtu.

Meanwhile, small commercial users such as local oven Rs 697 per MMBTU will have to be paid from November 1.

The power sector will have to pay Rs 1,050 to Rs 3,890 per MMBTU. The cement industry will pay Rs 4,400 per MMBTU.

Rates for the export industry have been set at Rs 2,100 to Rs 2,400 per MMBtu, while non-export industries will have to pay between Rs 2,200 to Rs 2,500 per MMBtu.

The power division, in its press release, said the interim setup had to increase gas prices following the advice of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority to avoid adding Rs 400 billion to the already rising circular debt.

The authority highlighted that 57% of domestic gas connections fall in the protected category where there has been no increase in the price of gas.

“In the name of austerity, some of the country’s most profitable businesses are taking advantage of the cheapest natural gas. This has unjustly enriched some sectors, while impoverishing the lowest income groups, including poor farmers and small scale industries,” the statement said. Have been deprived.”

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