LPG cylinder with a stove is being sold at a shop in Hyderabad on March 17, 2024, as the demand for composite cylinders has increase in the city amid prolonged gas load-shedding. —PPI

LAHORE: The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has sought from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to increase the gas prices by 147%, which would multiply the burden on the already inflation-hit people.

Geo News on Monday reported that after the SSGC, the SNGPL also filed a plea with the regulator to hike the price of gas.

The utility company serves over 7.22 million consumers in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

According to the report, the company has requested an increase of Rs2,646.18 per metric million British thermal unit (mmbtu) in gas price and asked that the new average gas price be fixed at Rs4,446.89.

Facing an estimated revenue shortfall of Rs189.18 billion, it has requested to implement the enhanced gas price from July 1.

The petroleum sector regulator will hear the SNGPL plea on March 25 in Lahore and on March 27 in Peshawar.

It may be noted that the SSGC has also submitted a request to the regulator for further hike in gas price, seeking an increase of Rs274.40 per mmbtu.

On March 17, a month after the caretakers burdened the masses with gas price hike on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) demand, the SSGC had requested the Ogra to further increase gas prices from July 2024.

The caretaker government had approved a 67% increase in the natural gas tariff with effect from February 1. The tariff was hiked to meet the deadline of the IMF for hiking the gas prices under structural benchmark criteria till February 15, 2024.

Citing an estimated Rs79.63 billion revenue shortfall, the SSGC had urged the Ogra to set average price of one mmbtu gas at Rs1740.80.

A public hearing on the petition is scheduled on March 18 in Karachi, during which the regulatory authority will determine the gas prices. The Ogra will also hear the petition in Quetta on March 20.

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