ISLAMABAD: Following political pressure to raise wheat and sugar prices, the government has stopped the increase in natural gas prices by 5 to 15 per cent to avoid public criticism.
According to information sources, a second session of the Cabinet Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) was summoned this evening to consider a summary submitted by the Ministry of Energy regarding the increase in gas prices.
The Prime Minister's Adviser to the Treasurer, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, chaired both the morning and evening meetings of the ECC.
Officials from the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) were all set to move the notice regarding gas price hikes.
However, they were sent a message around 8 pm saying the ECC had refused due to pressure on wheat and sugar prices.
Sources said that Ogra will be issued a letter from the Petroleum / Cabinet Division asking for a few days to halt the rise in gas prices so as to reduce public pressure.
In summary, the Petroleum Division told the ECC that under the OGRA rules, the federal government must propose a gas price within the category of 40 days for notification in the official journal, which is January 20, 2020. Is'.
Under the summary, the petroleum division changed the OGRA proposals to lower the gas prices offered to the poor and lower-income groups.
However, in the summary, it was suggested to increase the meter rent for local customers by 400%, from Rs 20 to Rs 80. The petroleum division said the meter rent was last fixed in 1997.
In summary, prices for consumers using low gas were increased by 5% but for power plants, it was proposed to increase prices by 12%, for industries and CNG stations by 15%.
The Petroleum Division said that on December 11, 2019, the financial requirements for Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited were Rs 27 crore 42 lakh and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited for Rs 28 crore 29 lakh.
Both companies have suffered a total financial crisis of about 35 billion rupees on the prevailing gas prices.
The Petroleum Division says OGRA's suggestions have been reviewed and various categories are being revised and efforts are being made to protect the financial requirements set by the regulator.