President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the Government has already increased gas tariffs 143% in October 2018 and now again OGRA seems determined to hike up the prices by 75 to 80% and the new rates will be implemented from July 1, 2019. This hike in price was proposed by SNGPL, under their proposal they had suggested Rs.732 increase in price per MMBtu of gas.
The Veteran Business Leader told the business community that frequent increase in Gas prices has already destabilized Energy and Power sector which has already affected not only people but also Industries, economy, transportation and Investment potential negatively. Mian Zahid Hussain fears any further hike in the Gas prices may lead to a large destabilization of CNG sector. Government should promote a preference for CNG usage over the Oils (petrol and diesel) in the transportation industry so CNG industry may earn substantial revenues to cover their rising CNG production cost. And also it will earn USD 1 Billion for the economy of Pakistan. Promotion of CNG over Imported Oil will also stabilize Energy Mix with the reduced Imports bills. Incremental Gas prices are very concerning, as per a survey in only Karachi there are more than more than 1000 industrial units and there production is totally dependent on the natural gas. If this price increase will have implemented it will further boost inflation rates and consequentially both people and businesses will suffer. Most of the industries across Pakistan will get directly affected by this predicted price increase and their production and manufacturing cost will also be increased by many folds. Even simple market products will become expensive and hard to get hence resulting in lesser exports overall.
The Former Minister every year common people have to bear the expense of Gas thefts of more than. PKR 50 billion on top of it SSGC and SNGPL losses over PKR 25 – 30 billions in terms of Gas. Line losses and gas thefts should be contained instead any increase in the Gas prices. Government should. Facilitation should be extended to investors and industrialists so that they can achieve their targets with profitability. Investors will greatly suffer if the predicted increased gas price tariffs will get implemented.