Economics & Business Pak Affairs

Gas prices have increased by 31%

ISLAMABAD: Minister Incharge for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the increase would, however, be not applicable to first three slabs constituting ninety-one percent of domestic consumers. During his news conference on Monday, He said the prices have to be increased because of phenomenal hike in oil prices in the international market. The Minister said even after the new price increase, the Government would still be subsidizing the gas prices for domestic consumers by 14.3 billion rupees annually.

He said a decision has also been taken to convert rate of gas for ovens from the present commercial to new domestic rates with a view to keep a check on the price of roti. He said there would also be no increase in the gas being supplied to fertilizer factories.

He said this is being done despite the fact that under an agreement concluded with Fertilizer factories in 2001, the Government was authorized to increase the gas prices for them by fifteen percent. Mr. Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Government has also cleared entire 286 billion rupees worth of arrears of the IPPs which will help improve their cash flow position.

Minister Incharge for Petroleum and Natural Resources said no increase has been made in gas pricing for Independent Power Projects with a view to avoid increase in the cost of power production and electricity bill. He said it has also been decided to increase CNG prices by 33.28 percent. He said the current CNG price is thirty-eight percent of Petrol price and after increase it will be at fifty-one percent of petrol. He said this will help in minimizing low pressure problems during winter for domestic sector and availability of additional gas for industrial usage.

To a question, the Minister said to provide relief to small Roti Tandoors to enable them to provide Roti to poor masses at affordable prices; it has been decided to split the said consumers into two categories. First special commercial category of Roti Tandoors with consumption upto three hundred cubec meters per month will be billed under domestic tariff regime while the Roti Tandoors exceeding this consumption will be billed in accordance with other commercial consumers. About forty-eight percent of consumers under this category will avail the benefit of domestic tariff which would reduce their monthly bill.-SANA

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Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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