Islamabad  - Ogra has recommended an increase of up to 286 percent in the prices of gas for various categories of consumers across the country during the ongoing fiscal year. The proposal, if accepted, would put most of the burden on the poor.

As per the recommendation forwarded by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority to the interim government, an increase of Rs204 per MMBTU has been suggested for the domestic consumers.

An increase of 30 percent has been recommended for almost all commercial users and those domestic consumers who use more than 300 cubic meter gas.

In contrast, the domestic consumers using less than 300 cubic meter gas will face most of the heat of this price as Ogra has recommended a debilitating increase of 286 percent for them.

As per the proposal, the commercial Tandoors using less than 300 cubic meters will also have to bear 286 percent price increase – making the poor to pay more for ‘Naan’ and ‘Roti’.

Ogra has set average gas tariff at Rs629.33 per Million British Thermal Unit (MMBTU) for SNGPL (Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited), and Rs589.09 for SSGCL (Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited) for Financial Year 2018-19.

According the federal government formula, the gas price approved for SNGPL will be applicable on all gas consumers of both gas utilities of the country. And, SSGCL will deposit the additional amount collected as Gas Development Surcharge (GDS) to the government.

The SNGPL had demanded Ogra to set average prescribed price at Rs811.56 per MMBTU, but the authority advised to government to set it at a reduced rate of Rs629.33 MMBTU.

One the other hand, the SSGCL demanded setting the price at Rs531.68 per MMBTU, but Ogra has recommended an even higher price level of Rs 589.09 per MMBTU.

A devastating 286 percent price increase has been recommended for the domestic consumers using upto 300 cubic meter gas.

As per the proposal, the per MMBtu price will increase from existing Rs110 to Rs314.67 for the domestic consumers using less than 100 cubic meters of gas, and from Rs220 to Rs629.33 for those using between 100 and 300 cubic meters gas.

A much less increase of 30 percent has been advised for the consumer using over 300 cubic meters gas, increasing the price from the current Rs600 per MMBTU to Rs780.43 for them.

A price increase of 286 percent has also been proposed for Roti Tandoors using up to 300 cubic meter gas.

An increase in price from current Rs110 per MMBTU to Rs314.67 has been recommended for Tandoors using under 100 cubic meter gas, and from Rs220 to Rs629.33 for those using gas between 100 and 300 cubic meters.

Like the rich domestic consumer, the axe has not cut much deeper in case of high consumption Tandoors however as those using above 300 cubic meters will face a price increase of 30 percent. They will face the price increase from current Rs700 to Rs910.50 per MMBTU, as per Ogra proposal.

Interestingly, all the commercial and industrial consumers will also face a 30 percent price increase.

Accordingly, for all the commercial consumers (like workshops) the price has been proposed to be increased from the existing Rs700 per MMBTU to 910.50 and for CNG stations from Rs700 to Rs 910.50.

In energy sector, the price will increase for power station from existing Rs398.76 per MMBTU to Rs520.29, for captive power from Rs600 to Rs780.43 and for independent power plants from 400 to Rs520.29.

The proposed price increase for cement factories is from current Rs750 per MMBTU to Rs975.54, for ice factories from Rs700 to Rs910.50, for general industrial consumers from Rs600 to Rs780.43, for feedstock Rs123 to Rs159.99.

In its decision for the current financial year, Ogra has approved Rs184.39 billion operating income and Rs 236 billion operating expenditures, while Rs51.9 billion operating profit for SNGPL. The gas company will require Rs286 billion worth revenue during the year, according to Ogra estimates.

According to the decision of authority for SSGCL, operating income will stand at Rs166 billion, operating expenditure at Rs213 billion and operating profit at Rs46.6 billion.