Gas prices

95

 

AT a time when the people are finding it hard to make ends meet due to skyrocketing inflation, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) is seeking to drop a new bomb as it recommended an increase of up to 74% in the natural gas price from 1 July last year. OGRA’s decision will be implemented after the approval of the federal government.

If the federal government does not approve it within 40 days, the decision will be implemented automatically. We understand the problems faced by the country in the energy sector.

Circular debt in the gas sector has emerged as a new spectre, which approximately stands at over seven hundred billion rupees.

This has happened because of the depletion of domestic gas reserves and more reliance on the expensive LNG imports which costs more than the domestically produced gas but its burden has not been shifted to the consumers.

Business as usual will no longer work and the bitter decisions are impending. However, given the current situation where the prices of essential commodities have reached beyond the reach of the common man, this substantial increase in gas tariff will add to their woes as this will send a new wave of inflation.

Whilst there is a need to come up with out of box and innovative solutions to address the issue of circular debt, the tariff should also be revised gradually and in phases but not in one go.

We need to explore avenues of importing gas from Russia which will be available on discounted rates.

Whilst it is for the people to avoid wastage of gas, it is also for the authorities concerned to ramp up domestic production.

We were self reliant in gas and we can be so again by encouraging the companies to ramp up exploration activities in the potential areas especially in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.