Thursday April 18, 2024

Inflated gas bills amid low to zero gas pressure perturb Pindiites

Consumers have also complained of zero gas pressure for over three months while SNGPL is sending them inflated bills

By Khalid Iqbal
January 29, 2024
This photo shows the flames of a lit burner of a gas stove. — AFP/File
This photo shows the flames of a lit burner of a gas stove. — AFP/File

Rawalpindi : The sitting government has literally killed public through its wrong policies while consumers could be seen literally crying after seeing exorbitant gas bills. The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has delivered inflated gas bills while majority of consumers were practically crying to see over 500 per cent inflated gas bills, thanks to caretaker government which was increasing gas rates with each passing day.

It seems that our caretaker cabinet was doing each and everything on the direction of IMF.

The consumers have also complained of zero gas pressure for over three months while SNGPL is sending them inflated bills. But, nobody takes note of this situation.

Those were paying Rs1000 monthly bill now paying Rs5000 to Rs7000 while those who were paying Rs7000 to Rs10000 are now paying Rs60,000 to Rs80,000 gas bills. “How a common man could pay huge amount of bills,” people bemoaned.

The SNGPL officials have claimed that government not only increased ‘Meter Rent’ but also imposed more and more taxes therefore consumers were facing huge amount of bills.

The federal cabinet approved up to 193% increase in gas prices to recover an additional Rs350 billion from consumers in this fiscal year while making some further adjustments in the recommended rates for industrial and CNG consumers. Headed by Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, the cabinet approved up to 172% increase for domestic consumers, 137% increase for commercial consumers and 193% increase in prices for cement manufacturers from November 1, 2023.

The bills of December which were delivered in January, 2024 were unaffordable while consumers were crying to see the bills. But, nobody was feeling any kind of shame or repentance and seeing the whole drama with closed eyes.

Although the government started implementing each and every condition of the IMF blindly to revive the programme, but had not yet shown willingness to reduce the cabinet size and impose taxes on traders as well as the stock market.

The consumers belonging to all walks of life have strongly protested against sitting government saying it seems that IMF has completely occupied this country. The sitting government was continuously killing public to appease IMF, people strongly protested.

Some key post officials from SNGPL on condition of anonymity said that government is planning to transfer consumers to cylinders. Government wanted to provide natural gas to industries therefore increasing prices of gas day-by-day, the officials claimed. Government was not providing any kind of new connection for over two years and posing that there was no natural gas in the country, the officers said.

The SNGPL was providing gas through LPG cylinders at exorbitant prices. In first phase, a man will deposit Rs7500 as security fee to purchase SNGPL cylinder than he will pay Rs3500 to refill cylinder with 11.8 kilogram gas.

In other countries, governments provide maximum relief to its people but here our government officials only snatching relief and pouring down all burdens over public, people belonging to different walks of life told ‘The News’ here on Sunday.

Muhammad Tahir, a poor man said that SNGPL sent me bill of Rs4,250 while I was paying Rs700 to Rs900 in routine. Government wanted to disconnect gas connections of public therefore adopting such kinds of policies. How I could pay this bill, come and disconnect my connection, he said.

Nosheen Imtiaz, a lady citizen said that sitting government has sucked even the last drop of blood from human body. What kind of governance is this, she bemoaned.

Muhammad Rizwan, a local said that we were facing such kinds of situation due to political instability in the country. There were differences in departments, there were differences in political parties therefore we are paying the cost, he said. If political parties and different departments continue this situation, everybody will face the music in future, he warned.