The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) chairperson has said that the hike in gas price was inevitable and an increase of 75-80pc in the price was expected in the coming months, a private media outlet reported on Monday.
OGRA Chairperson Uzma Adil said this during a public hearing on hike in gas prices on Monday.
The chairperson of the gas regulatory authority said that the gas tariff was not enhanced in the last two years, due to which the difference between buying and selling price has widened.
The devaluation of Pakistani rupee against US dollar is also a factor behind the proposed hike in gas price, the OGRA chief added.
“An increase of 75-80pc in the prices is likely and the new rates will come into force from July 1,” she maintained.
Uzma Adil informed that the OGRA has sought Rs732 per MMBTU (Million British Thermal Unit) per unit hike in gas price.
She said that the pressure factor was one of the reasons behind overbilling in winters, adding that the consumers, who were overcharged, would be refunded with their money.
A committee constituted by the prime minister will determine the people responsible for overbilling, she added.
During the hearing, the representatives of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and other companies also presented various reasons for demand of hike in gas prices.
Earlier, in compliance with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s direction, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited on March 11 had announced to compensate overbilled gas consumers.
An SNGPL spokesperson had said that the extra amount charged from the gas consumers would be adjusted in the next month’s bills.
He had claimed that SNGPL’s regional offices were collecting data of bills with pressure factor so as to compensate the consumers.
Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar had also said that three committees had been formed to probe the inflated gas bills. He added that the deficit of the gas sector has reached Rs154 billion.