Gas consumers unable to attend Ogra hearing

Non-availability of online access

ISLAMABAD-Almost 99 percent of the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) consumers will be unable to participate in the hearing, arranged by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), for 138 percent hike in gas prescribed tariff, owing to its venue and no online access to domestic consumers.

OGRA will be holding hearing today (Monday) on Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited  petition for around 138 percent hike in prescribed gas prices in a five star hotel where domestic consumers will be unable to participate. It is worth noting that SNGPL had sought the OGRA nod for upto 1,715.49/MMBTU or 138 percent increase in average prescribed gas tariff for the Fiscal Year 2023-24. In its petition submitted to Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) for review of its Estimated Revenue Requirements/ Prescribed Prices for FY 2023-24, SNGPL had sought an increase of 1,715.49/MMBTU in average prescribed gas prices effective from July 1, 2023.

The total number of the SNGPL consumers is 7.610 million, which comprises of 7.528 million or 98.92 percent of domestic consumers. The number of the industrial consumers is only 7,641 and commercial is 73,873 which make around 1.08 percent only.

As per the practice, OGRA conducts public hearing on SNGPL and SSGCL petitions for annual revenue requirement and for determination of prescribed prices in the five-star hotels of all four provincial metropolitan. OGRA is spending millions of rupees on these hearings, which are being attended by the representatives of less than one per cent of the Sui companies' industrial and commercial consumers. Moreover, the consumers have no online access to these hearings.

On the other hand, the National Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has transformed during the last five years a lot and is holding public hearings in its headquarters and allows to stakeholders the zoom access In the absence of the input from almost 99 per cent stakeholders, no regulator on earth can make fair and just determination. The scribe has contacted Executive Director and Spokesperson OGRA, Imran Ghaznavi for his comments. Ghaznavi was asked why you are holding public hearing in five stars hotels instead of the regulator headquarter located in Islamabad? Is it a legal obligation to hold the hearing in the expensive hotel? Why there is no online acces to the consumers? How can a domestic consumer from Jhelum, Larkana, Dir or far-flung areas of Balochistan participate in these hearing being held in the provincial metropolitan cities? How much is the cost of holding these hearings and who pays for it? The spokesperson was also asked regarding the details of the expenses incurred on holding these hearing during the past five years.

After waiting for almost five days, spokesperson ÓGRA while skipping the important questions, responded and said, “OGRA is an independent regulatory authority in the mid and downstream petroleum sector. The determination of revenue requirements is one of the major regulatory functions of ÓGRA. It is pertinent to mention that OGRA conducts public hearings in four provincial capitals to reach out to petitioners and the general public, seeking their viewpoints for a fair and just determination of the revenue requirements of Sui companies

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