ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regul­atory Authority (Ogra) on Wednesday formally notified an increase in gas rates and fixed charges for all consumers throughout the country with effect from Nov 1.

Under the notification, fixed monthly charges for the residential “protected category” of consumers have been increased from Rs10 to Rs400, showing an increase of 3,900pc. In addition, they would also pay minimum charges of Rs108 per month.

However, their per unit gas rates have been kept unchanged at Rs121 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) for 0.25 hundred cubic metres (hcm), Rs150 per unit for up to 0.5 hcm, Rs200 for up to 0.6 hcm and Rs250 for up to 0.9 hcm.

The protected category is defined as consumers whose average consumption in four winter months (November to Febru­ary) would be below or equal to 0.9 hcm.

The fixed monthly charges for non-protected consumers have been increased by about 118pc (from Rs460 to Rs1,000) for consumption up to 1.5 hcm and by 335pc for consumption exceeding 1.5 hcm (from Rs460 to Rs2,000). They would also be required to pay Rs178 per month minimum charges.

For this category, the gas rates have been increased by 50pc to Rs300 per mmBtu for consumption up to 0.25hcm, 100pc to Rs600 mmBtu for up to 0.6hcm, 150pc for up to 1hcm to Rs1,000 per mmBtu, 100pc each for 1.5hcm and 2hcm to Rs1,200 and Rs1,600 per mmBtu respectively.

The biggest jump of 173pc in prices has been notified for up to 3hcm slab to Rs3,000 per mmBtu (from Rs1,100) while 75pc increase made for consumption slab of up to 4hcm to Rs3,500 per mmBtu (from Rs2,000) and the smallest increase of 29pc would be for above 4hcm to Rs4,000 per mmBtu (from Rs3,100 per unit).

All residential consumers would have the one preceding slab benefit except those who consume above 4hcm per month.

The tariff for the special commercial (roti tandoor) category has been kept unchanged — both in terms of gas rates and fixed charges.

The tariff increase for commercial consumers has been increased by more than 136pc to Rs3,900 per mmBtu. This category includes ice factories, commercial units like cafes, bakeries, milkshops, canteens, barber shops, laundries, hotels including hotel industry, malls, places of entertainment like cinemas, clubs, theatres, private offices and corporate firms’ offices.

The gas rates for general industries have been increased by 83.3pc to Rs2,200 per mmBtu (from Rs1,200) and rates for their captive plants have been jacked up by 108.3pc to Rs2,500 from Rs1,200 per mmBtu at present. On the other hand, the gas price has been increased by 91pc increase for export industries to Rs2100 per mmBtu for process and 118pc to Rs2,400 for captive plants.

The gas price for CNG stations has been increased by about 100pc to Rs3,600 per unit from Rs1,805 at present while more than 193pc hike effected to cement factories to Rs4,400 per unit (instead of Rs1,500).

No increase is proposed for gas supply to the power sector given its spillover impact on already record-high electricity tariffs.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2023

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