Gas consumers to face tariff hike next week

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KARACHI: The government has decided in principle to increase natural gas prices with the exception of small domestic gas consumers and Independent Power Projects units in the next week.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said on Friday that the gas prices would be increased by 30 percent to 100 percent for all industrial and commercial sectors. The domestic consumers up to 300 units would be exempted from the rise as it was proposed to the government.

The federal ministers for water and power and petroleum and natural resources would decide the rate of increase for fertilizer and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) sectors. Besides the rise in gas tariff would also affect the industrial and commercial sectors of the country. It was informed that there was possibility that the government would frame different slabs of increase in gas tariff for every sector. It was already decided as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had decided to put on hold the planned increase in gas prices till the end of Ramazan.

This increase is in line of the decision at a high-level meeting held before Eidul Fitr on the gas shortfall in the country at the Prime Ministerís Office.

The government was supposed to implement new gas prices from July 1, 2013 as per the set procedure but it was delayed. The Ministry of Petroleum tabled different options to increase gas prices for CNG consumers, fertilizer manufacturers and captive power plants to bring them at par with alternative fuels. The prices of CNG are already high, but the gas rates for fertilizer manufactures and captive power plants are less, which has created distortion in the pricing mechanism, according to the Ministry of Petroleum.



Courtesy: †Daily Times


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