Gas prices and the poor masses

Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has approved an increase of Rs 39.89 per MMBTU in gas prices for the consumers of Sindh and Balochistan, on Thursday. According to available figures, the prices of Sui Southern Gas became Rs 778.59 per MMBTU, while the meter rent charges were increased from Rs 20 to Rs 40. Going further in pealing the consumer’s skin, OGRA has recommended the federal government to implement the increase in gas prices from September 1, 2020. The increase in gas prices will impose an additional burden of more than Rs 14 billion on consumers. As per reports, OGRA will issue the notification of increase in gas prices after getting approval from the government in coming days. OGRA also setting to bust another bomb on the consumers by proposing an increase of up Rs. 213.7 in gas prices for domestic consumers, which will lead to grab about Rs. 244 billion to SNGPL and Rs. 275 billion to SSGPL.

The government owned service provider entities have turned into white elephant for the country and the public. They became a hub of nepotism, mismanagement, inefficiency, and corruption. These institutions had been destroyed by their employees including top echelons to the leg workers. The senior managements of these companies are unable to control illegal theft of gas and line losses, unnecessary departmental expenditures and unauthorized use of departmental vehicles and equipment for their personal use.

These department’s top management does not take pain to resolve the problems, instead it resorted to inherent practice of diverting the burden on the consumers by increasing price and addition in line or meter rent charges. Despite, putting this unbearable burden on the public, all public Service provider entities including Gas companies, Electric supply corporations, PTCL, PTV, Metropolitan corporations and other continuously being driven in loss and adding circular debit in national exchequer.

The government should look into all these matters deeply, a thorough review should be made in to the performance of the higher hierarchy of these public service giants, NAB must investigate into their financial position and an independent audit must be initiated by a private firm, as Auditor General of Pakistan can not conduct a transparent audit due to nepotism and bureaucratic relationship. Government must discourage this tendency by not approving this suggested increase in gas price rather put their senior management on accountability row to correct their professional philosophy.