ISLAMABAD - Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) is likely to put extra burden on the consumers by increasing the gas tariff by up to Rs 54 per mmbtu in a bid to cover the growing losses and financial pilferage on part of SNGPL and SSGC in shape of gas theft and line losses, as both the gas supplying entities have failed to meet the targets set by the Authority. Massive hike in gas tariff is expected to be imposed by the start of next year. Both SNGPL and SSGCL have requested the Ogra to increase gas tariffs just to help both the utilities meet hefty revenue shortfalls worth billions of rupees. It is testimony of the fact that earlier both the utilities had got adjustments from honourable courts at 7per cent for the head of Unaccounted for Gas (UfG) in an apparent bid to cover their own inefficiency and poor performance. Ogra, after the court decisions, passed on this surge in gas tariff and earned billion of rupees from the pockets of over burdened consumers. Further, the government on September 21 had allowed both gas supplying companies to increase gas tariff by Rs 12.64 per mmbtu for SSGC and Rs 5.46 per mmbtu for SNGPL. The two utilities have spent hefty amounts on advertisements, travelling expenditures, and legal expenditures, and suffered losses to their infrastructure due to the 2010 and 2011 floods, sources said, adding that currently Pakistan is facing gas shortage of 1.5 to 2 billion cubic feet (BCF), which would reach 4 BCF during the peak hours of the upcoming winter season. Available documents with TheNation revealed that both SNGPL and SSGC, in a writ petition with Ogra, have pleaded for tariff hike to meet the requirements of their hefty revenue shortfall and soaring wellhead price worth in billions, likely to be collected from the consumers of gas form January 1 to 30th June of 2012. Documents further informed that SNGPL has sought tariff hike by up to Rs54.45 per mmbtu in a bid to meet the requirement of revenue shortfall worth Rs 30 billion, forty crores and 90 lacs for the above-mentioned period. Similarly, SSGCL is requesting this hike in tariff up to Rs 21.95 per mmbtu in a bid to fulfil revenue shortfall for FY 2011-12 worth Rs 8 billion, 35 crores and 50 lacs per mmbtu. As SNGPL and SSGCL have failed to meet the set targets so far that were earlier decided by Ogra so both have sought historic hike in gas tariff to meet their respective revenue shortfall, sources said. So far, the government, instead of putting its own house in order, has always tactfully protected its favourite officials working on key slots in both SNGPL and SSGCL, sources said.