PM Imran Khan’s appointed fact-finding committee on inflated gas bills has completed its report. It has pointed out the reason for the inflated bills received by customers in December 2018 and has given recommendations to prevent such a situation in the future.
According to the committee, as much as 47,000 gas consumers of Sui Northern received up to 200-300% higher bills. The reason behind the increased bills is the government’s recent 7-slab gas pricing formula that provided for a 10-143% increase in gas tariff.
The committee also found that the pressure factor caused an increase in bills. One out of every four consumers faced the impact of the pressure factor.
The committee has recommended changing the formula from 7-slab to the 5-slab structure with a rationalized tariff.
According to Chairman of the committee and spokesperson of Petroleum Division, Additional Secretary Sher Afgan, the report will be submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Energy today. However, he refused to divulge the findings of the report, saying it would be unethical.
Nevertheless, an official has reported that about two to three families operate on a single-gas meter. Their increased consumption during winter, especially in December, moved them up to the next slab of higher price and resulted in excessive bills.
The committee has recommended clubbing the first two slabs into one with a price of Rs. 127 per MMBTU while reducing the last two slabs into one. Reportedly, the current price for the first slab, i.e. up to 50 cubic meters per month consumption, amounts to Rs. 121 per MMBTU.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered the committee to find out the reason behind inflated bills during December. The committee is headed by Additional Secretary Mr. Sher Afgan. Other members include DG Gas, DG LG, General Manager Billing (Sui Northern), GM Audit (SN), CFO Inter-State Gas System, and CFO Sui Northern.