The four-month delay in taking decision to increase the natural gas tariff has caused a colossal loss of Rs78 billion to the gas system, senior officials of the Energy Ministry told The News.

The OGRA on June 2, 2023 had determined an increase in the gas tariff by 45 percent for SSGC consumers to cater to the revenue requirements and 50 percent for SNGPL. This was to be effective from July 1, 2023.

Under the OGRA ordinance, if the government stays indecisive or fails to take the decision on the regulator’s determination, then OGRA can enforce the revised prices on its own after 42 days since the determination.

However, OGRA did not do that and kept on waiting for the government’s decision.

While the PDM government didn’t take the decision primarily due to political implications, the caretaker government also wasted time and approved the increase from November 1, 2023 instead of October 1, 2023.

This led to the system suffering losses to the tune of Rs56 billion from July-Sept and losses of Rs24 billion in October. This results in a staggering loss of Rs78 billion.

When asked if the delay would irritate the IMF during the review meetings, an official source said the IMF was more concerned about its benchmark, which will be met even after Rs78 billion loss to the system. The authorities have increased the tariff in such a way that there will be zero increase in circular debt in FY24, which is now Rs2.9 trillion.

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