Federal cabinet of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has taken the verdict of not increasing gas prices immediately by 46 per cent. The decision instead has been left upon the Prime Minister—Imran Khan.
On the 4th of September, the decision for increasing the gas prices was given approval by the prime minister, this decision would have created a lot of burden on the commercial consumers.
The federal Minister for Information—Fawad Chaudhry briefed the reporters regarding the decisions taken in the ECC meeting that was led by the Finance Minister—Asad Umar, while briefing he said that a new system of subsidy would be evolved in a way that the increased gas rates would not be affecting the underprivileged class, however, the rich class would be making contributions in reducing the deficit of the sector.
He also said that the final verdict would be taken by Imran Khan in this matter.
Sources privy to the proceedings in the ECC meeting informed that the decision was left on the prime minister after Syed Murad Ali Shah—the chief minister of Sindh made a call to the finance minister during the ECC meeting and told him that the committee has no rights to raise the gas rates.
The sources said that the chief minister told the finance minister that only the Council of Common Interests (CCI) has got the authority of raising the prices.
The information minister while addressing the reporters put the blame on the previous ruling party—Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for the deficit in the gas division, which as per his claims has been raised to rupees one hundred and fifty-six billion per annum.
Fawad Chaudhry emphasized that the gas sector is in the worst possible situation.
Additionally, the ECC decided to give fertiliser factories fifty per cent local gas and fifty per cent LNG.
The information minister also said that the LNG bills would be divided equally between the fertiliser firms and the government and that the fertiliser firms would continue producing on full capacity.
The price of the cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas was also raised by seventy per cent during the recent months and steps would be taken to reduce the price of LPG.