Caretaker Energy Minister Muhammad Ali has announced that gas will be available only for 8 hours a day during the winter season.
While addressing a joint press conference with acting Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, Ali said that the gas would only be accessible in the morning, afternoon, and evening and stated that the government would not be able to provide it continuously.
In order to alleviate the deficit as much as possible, he further disclosed that two LNG cargoes have been scheduled for December 2023 and that two more LNG cargoes are being ordered for January 2024.
In Pakistan, 70% of the population, especially in rural regions, relies on burning wood and LPG, while 30% of the country uses piped gas. Over 50% of piped gas consumers have not been affected by the price rise. He said that the wealthy in cities were receiving piped gas for a quarter of the price that the underprivileged in rural regions were paying for LPG.
According to the minister, there are 10 million household gas connections, and since the majority of them are in protected categories and have modest incomes, the government did not raise the gas rate by 57%. The set price of Rs. 10 has been raised to Rs. 400 every month, he said. Their monthly bill has increased from Rs200 to Rs900 to Rs600 to Rs 1,300. He said, "The government is working to get it close to the price of LPG."
According to the minister, 31% of the gas produced was used by 57% of domestic users. Following the rise, their share of the overall gas cost for the household sector would be 11%. "3% and the rich were paying 39% and using 17% of the resources. In a similar vein, 39% of all domestic customers fall into the middle slab, who use 52% of gas and spend 49%."
He went on to say that there has been no rise in the gas rate for tandoors or the power industry. According to him, the industry for fertilizers had also been spared from the rise.