ISLAMABAD - The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday said the recommendation of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to hike the price of natural gas by 46 percent should be thoroughly analysed before implementation.

Gas is the most important fuel in the country’s energy mix and upward revision in its price will shake the whole economic scenario, therefore, it should be discussed with the stakeholders in detail, it said.

The timings of OGRA’s proposal is questionable as such an important decision should not be taken by the interim setup but left to the elected government, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, acting president FPCCI.

He said that natural gas is the cheapest and cleanest fuel which help produce electricity at a cost of Rs4.71 per unit as compared to diesel whose per unit cost stands at Rs14.18, furnace oil Rs10.17, coal Rs5.81 and RLNG Rs 9.02.

The acting president of the apex chamber said that low price of gas is said to be discouraging expansion and development of this sector while the low price is also blamed for lack of interest on the part of foreign investors.

However, he noted that the theft of gas and losses continue to surge without any serious effort to reduce it. Gas worth over a billion rupees is wasted to theft daily which is being tolerated.

The business leader said that hike in the price of gas will be acceptable if the objective is the development of this sector while masses will never accept it if the aim is to increase the profit of gas utilities.