Fix Gas Meter Rent Expected to Hit Rs 2000 Monthly

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In a significant development, two major gas companies in Pakistan, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), are gearing up to collect a staggering sum of Rs. 697 billion from consumers during the fiscal year 2023-24. This move comes as both entities seek to avoid a recurrence of the staggering losses incurred in the previous year. Industry insiders have revealed that these companies are taking steps to revise their financial strategies, and one notable change is the expected surge in fixed gas meter rents.

The fixed gas meter rent, previously set at Rs. 460 per month for non-protected customers, is now likely to see a substantial increase to Rs. 2,000 per month. This significant hike is part of an effort to shore up the financial health of these gas companies and ensure their sustainability.

SNGPL and SSGC have independently estimated their revenues for the current fiscal year. SNGPL anticipates collecting Rs. 358 billion, while SSGC aims to gather Rs. 339 billion.

Out of the staggering sum of Rs. 697 billion, a substantial portion, Rs. 657 billion, is earmarked for covering the cost of gas procurement. This allocation reflects the companies’ need to maintain a reliable gas supply while addressing their operational expenses.

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To meet these financial requirements and avoid the risk of incurring significant losses, there is a proposal to increase gas rates by 100 percent. The consequences of failing to implement this hike could lead to a combined loss of Rs. 395 billion for the gas companies. This looming financial crisis follows a troubling precedent, as both SNGPL and SSGC suffered a loss of Rs. 245 billion last year due to the non-implementation of higher gas rates.

If approved, the 100 percent rate hike will have far-reaching consequences. Fixed charges for non-protected customers are expected to soar from a nominal Rs. 460 to a substantially higher Rs. 2,000. Additionally, the proposed increase in gas prices for domestic consumers is set to take effect in the next billing cycle.

This move by the gas companies has ignited a heated debate among consumers and policymakers alike. It is undeniable that this price hike will lead to an increased financial burden on households and businesses across the country. The coming months will reveal the true extent of the consequences as discussions on the proposed price hike continue and consumers brace for their escalating gas bills. The gas companies are facing a critical juncture as they seek a balance between financial sustainability and consumer affordability in the energy sector.

Ammara Ahmed

Ammara Ahmed

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