ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) said on Sunday that gas companies continue to prefer interests of brokers over those of consumers.
The gas distribution companies are reluctant to abide by the decisions on OGRA taken in the interests of masses, it said. Gas utilities have not accepted any decision of the regulator since years and has recently refused to accept the gas tariff recently announced by the OGRA, said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal. He said all the directives to fix issues like over-billing have been ditched in favour of shareholders and some brokers. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that insistence of the gas utilities to increase UFG (theft and losses) is nothing but effort to benefit shareholders on the cost of masses.
He said that law and order situation has always remained normal in Karak but gas worth one billion is stolen which is not possible without involvement of gas officials. Similarly, he said, honest consumers are made to pay for the gas theft in Balochistan and elsewhere, which must be stopped. Distributors accept theft of Rs 30 billion per annum while the situation on the ground is different which must be controlled. He said that ratio of UFG is one percent at present while it is over seven percent in Pakistan while bureaucracy is trying to push it to 14 percent. Gas companies are frequently blamed for overcharging consumers, which is illegal and unethical, he said.