Islamabad - To meet the revenue requirements of SNGPL and SSGC, the Petroleum Division has recommended up to 190.55 percent increase in gas prices to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, it was learnt reliably on Monday.

The summary regarding the proposed increase in gas prices will be discussed in next meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet, sources told The Nation. After approval of the ECC, the summary will be forwarded to the federal cabinet for its final approval.

The new proposed consumer prices have been determined at the average price of Rs738 per MMBTU, the source said. For the first category using upto 50 cubic meter gas, the Petroleum Division has recommended an increase of 52 percent from Rs121 per MMBTU to Rs184 per MMBTU. The new price is 25 percent of the average price of Rs738 per BBTU and it will increase the bill of this slab from current Rs285 per month to Rs422 per month, said the source.

For second slab of up to 100 cubic meter, the Petroleum Division has recommended an increase of 190.55 percent in gas price from Rs127 per MMBTU to Rs369 per MMBTU. The new price has been determined on 50 percent of the average price of Rs738 and it will increase the monthly bill of this category by Rs647 from the current Rs572 per month to Rs1219 per month, said the source.

For third slab of up to 200 cubic meter, a hike of 109.47 percent has been proposed in gas price from current Rs264 per MMBTU to Rs553 per MMBTU. The new price has been determined on 75 percent of the average price of Rs738 and it will increase the consumers bill by Rs1704 per month from the current monthly bill of Rs2305 to Rs4009 per month.

For fourth slab of up to 300 cubic meter, the proposed increase is 168.36 percent from Rs275 per MMBTU to Rs738 per MMBTU. The new price has been determined on 100 percent of the average price of Rs738 and it will increase the consumers bill by Rs4406 per month from current monthly bill of Rs3589 to Rs7995 per month.

For fifth slab of up to 400 cubic meters, the proposed increase is 41 percent from Rs780 per MMBTU to Rs1107 per MMBTU.

The new determination was made on the basis of 150 percent of the average price of Rs738 per MMBTU. However, after making some adjustments in services, the bill of the category will increased by Rs865 per month from the current Rs13,508 to Rs14,373 per month.

For sixth slab using above 400 cubic meters, the proposed increase is 109 percent from Rs1460 per MMBTU to Rs1476 per MMBTU. The new determination was made on the basis of 200 percent of the average price of Rs738 per MMBTU. However, after making some adjustments in services, bill of the category will decrease by 19 percent or Rs6039 per month from the current Rs31,573 to Rs25,534 per month.

A source in OGRA said that the proposed prices are not based on the regulator recommendations as government had evolved its own formula.

It is pertinent to mention here that last month in its determination for the estimated revenue requirement of both gas utilities – SNGPL and SSGC - for fiscal 2019-20, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had proposed an average price increase of 47 percent in the prescribed prices for both the Sui companies. Ogra had also proposed to increase the number of slabs to 10 by adding new slabs of 110, 210, 310 and 410 cubic meters.

As per determination, Ogra has recommended around 200 percent price increase for the consumers using 50 cubic meter gas, which constitute 18 percent of the total gas users. Similarly Ogra had proposed an increase of 183 percent for the second slab of 100 cubic meter. For those consuming up to 200 cubic meter (32 percent consumers), Ogra had proposed an increase of 74 percent. For slab consuming up to 300 cubic meter (12 percent), Ogra had recommended an increase of 101 percent.

Similarly, Ogra also recommended an increase of prescribed prices for the consumers using up to 110 cubic meter, 210 cubic meter, and 310 cubic meter by 45 percent and 72 percent respectively.  The remaining unabsorbed revenue shortfall determined by Ogra has been recouped by rest of categories of consumers across the board. In its petition, SNGPL had demanded an average increase of 144 percent, however, Ogra had allowed 47 percent average hike for the gas consumers of SNGPL. SSGC had demanded an increase of 30 percent in average gas price, but the regulator allowed 28 per cent average price increase for next financial year 2019-20.