The ministry of Energy (Petroleum division) proposed the gas price increase earlier in order to bail out debt-ridden energy companies including Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL). However, in an ECC meeting which was scheduled for Wednesday, the Gas price increase is deferred.
Earlier Ministry of Energy proposed the 86% gas price increase on the first slab of domestic consumers along with increasing the gas price by 30% for all other consumers including commercial, industrial and power consumers.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet has formed different committees on Wednesday to work on formulating the strategy to overcome the liabilities of power sector which has surged to Rs1188 billion.
Under the chairmanship of Asad Umer, Finance Minister of Pakistan, the ECC discussed various summaries while rejecting the summary to increase gas prices for consumers.
The two major state-owned energy companies SNGPL and SSGCL is demanding the gas price increase from the government in order to reduce their debts, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) also recommended increasing gas prices to the caretaker government earlier which they refused to implement, now the companies are demanding the same from the new government. However, the PTI government has rejected the anti-people decision until the next meeting.
Before the next ECC meeting which is scheduled for next week, different committees will work on finding different solutions to reduce the circular debt which has mounted to overall Rs1188 billion. ECC chairman ensured that the decision would be made transparent and the public will know the facts behind the decision made.
Chairman ECC was also distressed by the issue of fertilizer pricing and its export, the decision was taken by the previous government which was opposing the local farmer’s interest. The interest of poor farmer should be the supreme motivation for making such decisions, he added.