ISLAMABAD: The federal government, on Wednesday, took in principle a decision to raise gas tariff by 10 to 100 percent from the beginning of the next fiscal year.“The government has decided to increase gas tariff for domestic consumers by 10-15 percent, for the industrial sector by 20-25 percent and the fertiliser sector by 100 percent,” Federal Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain sounded the alarm while talking to reporters after a high level meeting at his ministry.The petroleum minister said the “price hike” would be implemented from the first day of the upcoming financial year, 2011-12, starting July 1 after the approval of the country’s highest economic forum, Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).According to sources in the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry, the massive hike in gas tariff is likely to be approved by the ECC in its meeting being held on Thursday (today). The sources said, “The government has decided that supply of gas to CNG stations and the industrial sector in Sindh province would be suspended twice a week according to a new gas load management plan being prepared in consultations with all stakeholders to effectively tackle the gas shortage.”The minister told reporters that the Karachi Electric Supply Company had demanded 239 mmcfd gas but it would be provided 200 mmcfd gas as part of the government’s effort to overcome the scarcity.
Hussain said that gas supply to the independent power producers would be cut by 50 percent, adding that they should run on diesel as their demand for gas could only be met partially. On petrol shortage, the minister claimed that the government had been taking concrete steps to ensure adequate supply of oil across the country. Saying that the government incurred huge expenses on importing 200,000 tonnes of petrol to meet the shortage, the minister predicted that the massive oil import bill could affect announcement of POL products’ prices on June 30.Hussain also said that licences of six oil marketing companies had been suspended for not retaining required oil stocks, adding that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority would take a final decision whether to drop the suspension.
To a question, the minister said the Sui Southern Gas Company and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited had, last month, recovered Rs 3 billion of which a sum of Rs 2 billion had been recovered from the Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited alone. He opined that the SSGC and SNGPL should form their own marketing companies to maintain prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). – Dailytimes