The caretaker government on Monday approved a significant increase to the gas tariff, with effect from Nov. 1 (Wednesday), hiking both fixed monthly and usage rates for all categories of consumers.
According to a notification issued by the Power Division, the government has increased the local gas tariff by up to 173 percent for non-protected domestic consumers; 136.4 percent for commercial consumers; 91 percent for export-oriented industries; and 83 percent for the non-export industry.
The summary approved by the interim federal cabinet states that fixed monthly charges for protected consumers have been hiked from Rs. 10 to Rs. 400. Of these consumers, those using up to 0.25hm3 would now pay Rs. 121/mmbtu; up to 0.5hm3 Rs. 150/mmbtu; up to 0.6hm3 Rs. 200/mmbtu; and up to 0.9hm3 Rs. 250/mmbtu.
For non-protected consumers, the fixed monthly charges have been hiked from Rs. 460 to Rs. 1,000. In this category, consumers utilizing up to 0.25hm3 would pay charges of Rs. 300/mmbtu; up to 0.6hm3 Rs. 600/mmbtu; up to 1 hm3 Rs. 1,000/mmbtu; up to 1.5hm3 Rs. 1,200/mmbtu. For higher slabs, fixed monthly charges have been increased to Rs. 2,000, with usage of up to 2hm3 being charged Rs. 1,600/mmbtu; up to 3hm3 Rs. 3,000/mmbtu; up to 4hm3 Rs. 3,500/mmbtu; and above 4hm3 Rs. 4,000/mmbtu.
In the commercial sector, special consumers such as tandoors would pay Rs. 697/mmbtu; while the remainder would pay Rs. 3,900/mmbtu. The power sector would pay Rs. 1,050 to Rs. 3,890/mmbtu, while the fertilizer industry would pay Rs. 200-580/mmbtu for feed and Rs. 1,580/mmbtu for fuel. The cement industry would pay Rs. 4,400.mmbtu.
For the industrial sector, export-oriented industries would pay between Rs. 2,100-2,400/mmbtu; non-export-oriented industries Rs. 2,200-2,500/mmbtu; and CNG Rs. 3,600/mmbtu.
In its press release, the Power Division justified the price hike as necessary in light of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s advice to avoid any further increase to the circular debt. It stressed that 57 percent of domestic gas consumer fell in the protected category and would face minimal price hikes. “In the name of affordability, some of the most profitable businesses of the country are availing the cheapest natural gas. This has unduly enriched certain sectors while depriving lowest income class including poor farmers and small-scale industries,” it added.