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August 12, 2020

(Relief in bills payment) Seasonal gas tariff mechanism to be in place from Nov 1

Top Story

August 12, 2020

ISLAMABAD: In an innovative development, the government has decided to introduce seasonal gas tariff from November 1, 2020 for four months of the winter season with the view to safeguard the gas consumers from hefty bills. A mechanism is being carved out under which consumers will be able to pay some percentage of the heavy bills in the remaining eight months of the year against the gas utilized in the winter season. And the state-owned gas companies will not suffer the loss as at the end of the year they will be able to collect the required revenue against the gas they sold in the whole year and consumers will also get relief. This is how this will be a win-win situation for both the state-owned gas utilities and consumers. "Yes, we are working on it and once the policy for season gas tariff is finalized, it will be pitched in the ECC for approval. And the government is determined to enforce it from November 1, 2020 with a view to providing solace to gas consumers in the winter season,’’ Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar confirmed to The News. However, he refused to share the salient features of the seasonal gas tariff policy saying it is in the process of formulation. The relevant top official said that in the winter season, the gas consumers utilize maximum gas for heating purposes apart from catering to cooking needs and in return receive heavy bills, which they find hard to pay. And to provide relief to consumers in the winter season, the hefty bills against the gas consumed in winter months will be staggered in eight months of the year for payment purposes and this is how the government will ultimately not sustain any financial damage and consumers will also get relief. Except for four months of the winter season starting from November 1 up to 28 or 29 February, people get gas bills in the remaining eight months in hundreds of rupees as they do not use gas heaters and geysers for heating purposes in the said eight

months period but in winter season they get bills in thousands of rupees. Under the seasonal gas tariff mechanism, the consumers will be able to pay some amount of the bills against the gas used in the winter season in the months of summer season. The official explained saying for instance, a gas consumer who gets Rs6,000 in the winter season will be provided relief by reducing the bill to Rs3,000 by staggering the remaining Rs3,000 in eight months of the year and this is how the slight increase in gas bills in the summer season will not hurt consumers.