ISLAMABAD - Since the Lahore High Court (LHC) had suspended a decision of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) pertaining reduction in gas tariff by 45/mmbtu so the over burdened consumers would remain deprived of relief in gas price.

“Following the order of LHC, previous year’s rate of gas tariff has become active now for all categories of gas consumers,” a senior official at petroleum ministry said on the condition of anonymity, adding that the over burdened gas consumers already bearing high tariff have been deprived of a sigh of relief once again only because of strategy of SNGPL.”

Earlier, the OGRA had rejected the request of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) on June 1 regarding charging the consumers with 7 per cent on account of Unaccounted for Gas (UfG) and also approved decrease in gas tariff by Rs45/mmbtu. The matter of fleecing the gas consumers with 7per cent of UfG was continuing since 2011 between OGRA and SNGPL, as the former did not allow the later to charge the consumers with said rate of stolen gas. However, the LHC had given decision in the favour of public during February 2013. But, SNGPL, in its plea to the LHC, had raised a point to get OGRA’s decision suspended that two members of regulatory authority (OGRA) are inactive, while both chairman and vice chairman of OGRA are not authorised to approve Rs45/mmbtu reduction in the gas price. So, the honourable court should suspend the order of the authority.

Interestingly, SNGPL had accepted the gas tariff of previous financial year (2012-13), which was also approved by both chairman and vice chairman OGRA.

Economists said increase in gas prices has become the fate of masses. But if ever the lady luck smiles on and there is an approval of reduction in the gas tariff, then both gas utilities (SNGPL & SSGCL) leave no stone unturned to fleece the masses and come up with new stand to maximize their profits no matter if at the cost of common man as both can’t digest provision of relief to the masses, they added.