- Gas tariff for non-protected consumers increased by 173%.
- The prescribed fee for protected consumers has been increased to Rs 400.
- Exporters managed to avoid large-scale increases in gas tariffs.
ISLAMABAD: The government finally approved a huge hike in gas tariffs on Monday, dealing a major blow to the inflation-stricken public which is likely to increase their troubles.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, which met in the federal capital under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, approved an increase in gas tariff by up to 193% with effect from November 1, 2023.
The development comes ahead of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) review later this month, in which Pakistan was asked to cut rising circular debt in the energy sector.
As per the approved summary, the fixed monthly charges were revised from Rs 10 to Rs 400 for protected consumers and from Rs 460 to Rs 1000 for non-protected and Rs 2000 for higher slabs.
The government has increased local gas tariffs by 173% for non-reserved domestic consumers, 136.4% for commercial, 86.4% for export and 117% for non-export industry.
Exporters have been able to gain maximum benefits as their tariffs will increase by 86% from November 1, 2023.
Earlier, there was a proposal to increase the average tariff from October 1, 2023, but the ECC approved it from November 2023.
According to the Finance Ministry, various agenda points and summaries presented by various ministries were considered in the meeting.
The Ministry of Industries and Production presented a summary regarding measures to meet the requirements of urea for Rabi season 2023-24. The ECC discussed the proposal in detail and approved the immediate import of 200,000 tonnes of urea fertilizers.
It also directed to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to the fertilizer industry. It was also decided that the provinces would be asked to act more proactively in bearing the import costs.
The meeting also discussed the summary submitted by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) for approval of technical supplementary grant of Rs 484 million to meet the critical expenditure on salaries and allowances of 415 contract and project employees from July 2023. Went.
The ECC directed the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives to identify savings for funding the salaries of ERRA employees.
The summary of the Ministry of Finance regarding setting up of National Credit Guarantee Company Limited to support credit growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) was also considered and approved by the Forum.