Two major gas companies in Pakistan are gearing up to collect a staggering Rs. 697 billion from consumers during the current fiscal year 2023-24, with fixed gas meter rent likely to surge to Rs. 2,000 per month (previously Rs. 460/month) for non-protected customers as both entities aim to avoid last year’s staggering losses, well-informed sources told ProPakistani.
Sources said Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) have independently estimated their revenues at Rs. 358 billion and Rs. 339 billion, respectively.
Out of the substantial sum of Rs. 697 billion, Rs. 657 billion will be directed towards covering the cost of gas procurement. To make ends meet and to offset the mounting operational expenses of both companies, a proposal to hike gas rates by 100 percent is under consideration.
If this increase fails to materialize, the dire consequence would be a combined loss of Rs. 395 billion for the gas companies, sources added. This looming financial crisis follows a troubling precedent, as last year both SNGPL and SSGC suffered a loss of Rs. 245 billion due to the non-implementation of higher gas rates.
If approved, the impact of the impact of the 100 percent rate hike will be felt across the board, with fixed charges for non-protected customers 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, as it will undoubtedly 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.