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Over 3 million consumers receive inflated gas bills in Pakistan

Staff Writer |
Public gas utilities have charged inflated bills from 3.2 million consumers because of a change in consumer slabs introduced by the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and manipulation of gas pressure factor in the case of domestic consumers.

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The application of high gas pressure factor has forced many honest consumers, who pay their bills regularly, to bear an additional cost of gas consumption. According to sources, 50% of domestic consumers have been overcharged by applying the high pressure factor illegally.

Normally, the high gas pressure factor is imposed on bulk consumers like industrial units and independent power producers (IPPs), but recently the gas utilities included it in the bills of domestic consumers, which caused a substantial increase in the cost of gas consumption for these consumers.

Earlier, an inquiry committee on inflated gas bills told Prime Minister Imran Khan, in its report submitted last month, that 30% of gas consumers had been overcharged. The committee came to the conclusion after analysing data of 10,000 consumers where it found that 30% of consumers had been overcharged by applying the high gas pressure factor during winter.

Separately, the prime minister was informed in a high-level meeting that 3.2 million gas consumers had been sent inflated bills due to manipulation on the part of gas utilities.

In another meeting chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar, it was revealed that 50% of domestic gas consumers had received inflated bills due to wrongful application of the high pressure factor.

The inquiry committee was also investigating who had ordered the imposition of gas pressure factor in violation of the level set by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).

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