Pakistan raises gas prices by 31 percent

July 1st, 2008 - 3:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, July 1 (IANS) The Pakistani government has hiked gas prices by a hefty 31 percent from Tuesday, making CNG the most expensive in the region. The increase will take the retail price of CNG to over Rs.52 per kg, Dawn reported Tuesday.

The government took the decision Monday, a day after it raised petrol and diesel prices by 10 percent.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who has the petroleum portfolio as an additional charge, said at a press conference that independent power projects and the fertiliser sector had been exempted from the tariff hike to avoid an increase in their cost of production.

According to a notification issued Monday night, the slabs for domestic users had been increased from five to seven.

There would be no increase in the first (up to 50 cubic metres) to third slabs (over 100 and up to 200 cubic meters) and this, Qureshi said, would benefit 4.9 million of the total 5.4 million domestic consumers.

The rate for the fourth slab (over 200 and up to 300 cubic metres) has been increased to Rs.313.10 per million British thermal units (MMBTU) from Rs.239.01 - an increase of 31 percent.

The rate for the fifth slab (over 300 and up to 400 cubic metres) has been fixed at Rs.407.31, for the sixth slab (over 400 and up to 500 cubic metres) at Rs.529.50 and for the seventh slab (over 500 cubic metres) at Rs.688.35.

The rate for commercial consumers has been raised to Rs.370.80 per MMBTU from Rs.283.05, while the minimum monthly charge for such consumers has been fixed at Rs.1,750.44 from the present Rs.1,336.21.

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