ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has sought approval of the federal cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to pass on heavy gas losses of around Rs 49 billion of the two state-owned gas utilities – SNGPL and SSGCL – to the already burdened natural gas consumers.
Official sources told Daily Times that the upcoming ECC meeting on July 5 is likely to take up a summary of the Petroleum Ministry which seeks passing on of Rs 49 billion stolen gas losses of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) to the gas consumers. The ministry has recommended setting the ratio of collection of amount on account of UfG (unaccounted for gas) at 7% to 9%of both gas companies.
Earlier, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a reference against former OGRA chairman Tuqeer Saddiq as same ratio of UfG was set for both the gas companies when he was the OGRA chairman. At present he is also facing a NAB investigation. A senior official, who wished not to be named, said that the SNGPL is faced with heavy losses of around Rs 21 billion, while SSGCL faces losses of Rs 28 billion on account of gas theft. He added that ministry has asked the ECC to issue policy guidelines to bind the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority.
Interestingly, OGRA has decided to increase the gas tariff of both the state-owned gas utilities for the fiscal year 2013-14 by 12% and 17%, respectively, and sent the summary to the Petroleum Ministry for final approval. In its decision for FY2013-14, the regulatory authority also fixed UfG of SSGCL at 7%, subject to decision on a stay order by the Sindh High Court, while it has set the UfG of SNGPL at 4.5% for 2013-14.