The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has decided to write a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to remove the ban on domestic gas connections and start installing a new gas meter.
It also recommended scrapping the recently introduced fixed gas meter rent of Rs. 500 per month collected from natural gas consumers.
Chairing the meeting, Public Accounts Committee Chairman Noor Alam Khan said that the fixed charges of Rs. 500 per month are also being collected from customers whose total bill doesn’t exceed Rs. 1,500 per month. He said that the poor simply cannot afford to pay such charges every month and called the charges ‘illegal’.
Secretary Petroleum apprised the committee that the gas tariff was increased with retrospective effect beginning January 1, 2023. He further highlighted that those households, which consume less than 1 cubic hectometers (as per Ogra the threshold is 0.9 cubic hectometers), were not burdened by the increase.
Noor Alam Khan ordered that PAC’s recommendations would be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for lifting of the ban on gas connections. Khan also directed the gas utilities not to collect the increased meter rent from the gas consumers.
The PAC chairman said that he is not concerned about the industry but the general consumers should get gas on a priority basis.
The committee was also informed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would discuss the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline issue with the US ambassador upon his return from Washington.