LAHORE - After the government announcement of 10 per cent flood surcharge tax and Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST), 13 per cent increase in gas tariff is another 'gift being given to the masses within a week. 'The decision regarding 13 percent increase in gas tariff as requested by SNGPL will be taken within a week time, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Chairman Tauqir Sadiq said here on Thursday. The sources claimed that OGRA accepted the SNGPL request till the formal announcement within a week. They were saying that SNGPL successfully convinced ORGA regarding increase in gas tariff. Talking to reporters after public hearing by OGRA on SNGPLs petition, Tauqir said that SNGPL has requested to fix the price of gas at Rs 42.35 mmbtu. He stated there was no ban on issuing gas connections to industry, however, Ogra has directed SNGPL to provide fresh gas connections only on the availability of gas, he added. 'Gas connections were given to 250,000 customers but now it would be provided on the condition of gas availability. Earlier, at a meeting, the SNGPL prayed to the OGRA to allow increase in gas tariff to 'overcome the deficit of Rs 1.3063 billion in the assessed requirements for the year 2010-2011. Oil companies have not been powered to fix the oil prices at their own. The hearing was attended by members of consumers organization, while they were saying that people could not afford even one per cent hike in gas tariff. The representatives of industry and employees union of SNGPL were also present on the occasion. Managing Director SNGPL Rasheed Lone while talking to media said that increase in the prices of gas would be implemented from January 1, 2011 adding that there will be an increase of 2.50 percent for the domestic consumers. He said that gas load management plan will be announced by SNGPL on November 15 and supply of gas to 3,500 industries will be stopped phased wise. He said that OGRA has fined Rs 9 billion to SNGPL adding that the regulatory authority has asked the SNGPL to maintain line losses at 7 percent. He admitted that there was an increase in the gas theft. He said that gas act bill is currently with the Law Ministry and it will be presented in the national assembly soon.