Gas prices up by 13.5pc
ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) issued a notification on Sunday increasing gas prices for all consumers by 13.55 per cent with immediate effect.
The fertiliser industry for which the petroleum ministry had recommended a 96 per cent increase has been exempted from the hike after the industry hinted at increasing fertiliser prices.
As a result of the notification, the gas input price for CNG (compressed natural gas) stations has also been enhanced by 13.55 per cent to Rs66.42 per 1070 British Thermal Unit (BTU) for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Potohar region which includes Rawalpindi-Islamabad and Gujar Khan. The CNG price for Sindh and Punjab, excluding Potohar region, has been increased to Rs63.11 per 950 BTU.
Ogra said it had determined an increase of 1.52 per cent in the prescribed prices for Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and a decrease of 2.63 per cent for Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, but the federal government advised an average increase of 13.55 per cent for all consumers.At the time of price determination, Ogra had disagreed to treat 7 per cent system losses, commonly known as unaccounted for gas (UFG), as revenue item, because it was higher than the agreed UFG limit of 4.5 per cent.
Ogra had also disallowed return on non-operating income to be passed on to consumers.
However, gas companies got stay orders from the Lahore High Court and Sindh High Court against only 4.5 per cent system losses. Ogra was of the view that in line with the past practice, system losses higher than 4.5 per cent should not be recovered from consumers and instead higher losses should be borne by gas utilities.
In view of the court’s interim orders, the federal government decided to pass on 13.55 per cent increase in gas prices to all consumers.
DOMESTIC CONSUMERS: The minimum charges for domestic consumers have also been increased by Rs17.34 per MMBTU (million British Thermal Unit) per month. The first slab of domestic consumers (using 100 cubic meters per month) will now be charged at Rs107.87 per unit, up by Rs12.87 per unit. For the second slab (using 100-300 cubic meters per month) it will go up to Rs215.74 per unit from Rs190 per unit, up by Rs25.74 per unit.
A substantial increase has been allowed for the third domestic slab (of over 300-500 cubic meters per month and the new rate will be Rs908.39 per unit over the existing rate of Rs800 per MMBTU. Domestic consumers using more than 500 cubic meters per month will be charged at Rs1,142.75 per MMBTU, up by Rs136 per unit from the existing rate of Rs1006.
COMMERCIAL RATES: Commercial consumers like cafes, bakeries, milk shops, tea stalls, canteens, ice factories, barber shops, laundries, entertainment places including cinemas and clubs, private offices and clinics would now be charged at Rs526.59 per MMBTU, up by about Rs63 per unit. Minimum charges in this category have been increased by Rs297 per month to Rs2,485.88.
INDUSTRIAL RATES: The price for industrial consumers has been increased by Rs52 per MMBTU to Rs434.18 per unit.
The minimum charge for industrial consumers has gone up by Rs1,747 per month to Rs14,640 from Rs12,893.
FERTILISER: While rates for feedstock have remained unchanged, the price of gas used by fertiliser plants for fuel or electricity generation has been increased by Rs52 per MMBTU to Rs434.
POWER STATIONS: Gas rates for power stations of Wapda and KESC and captive power plants have been increased by Rs54 per MMBTU to Rs447 and while the minimum charge to Rs15,077 per month from Rs13,278 – up by Rs1800 per month.
Likewise, gas rates for independent power producers have been raised by Rs45 per unit to Rs377 per MMBTU.