Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s (OGRA) decision to increase the gas prices will add to the woes of the general public that in this age of rampaging inflation will find it increasingly hard to eke out a living. The summary has been sent to the Ministry for Petroleum for approval; it recommends a price increase of Rs 31.12 per mmbtu for Sui Northern Gas Company and Rs 29 per mmbtu for Sui Southern Gas Company. There is not much likelihood that the ministry would question the recommendation; instead as in the past, it would most likely approve it. This ‘New Year gas gift’ is meant for domestic as well as industrial consumers which mean that the impact would be widespread.

During its tenure one can hardly recall any instance where the federal government had given any break to the people from this vicious circle. Despite calls to at least put prices on hold for periods long enough to be able to let the society take a breather have also been ignored. What we have been seeing is frequent price bombs falling on the poverty stricken masses that have now bred great frustration. Besides, the problem is that just like electricity many of the areas countrywide have been facing gas loadshedding. The present strategy of price shocks cannot work; neither the economy nor the masses have the shoulder strong enough to bear the burden.