Just a few weeks after heaving a sigh of relief, the hard-pressed consumers are likely to be shocked as a technical committee of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has proposed Rs15/kilogram increase in the prices of compressed natural gas (CNG) while an independent audit firm appointed by the regulator has recommended Rs28/kg massive raise in the commodity price. Sources confided to TheNation in a candidly informal yet off-the-record interaction that a technical committee of Ogra has proposed Rs15/kilogram increase in CNG prices. Similarly, an independent audit firm appointed by the regulator has recommended Rs28/kg massive raise in the prices of said commodity used as fuel.Following the orders of apex court to determine a new pricing formula, the regulatory authority on 8th November awarded a contract to a chartered firm named as Owais-Hyder-Noman-Liaqat Chartered Accountants to conduct an emergency audit of eleven compressed natural gas (CNG) stations located in different parts of the country in a bid to ascertain the actual and prudent cost of product sold across the country for vehicular use. The regulatory authority also formed a technical committee to carry out a costing exercise to get a comparison with the auditor’s assessment before submission to the Supreme Court.As it transpired, the technical committee after analysing the accounts of CNG stations has now proposed Rs6/kg as compression cost, while setting operating cost at Rs10/kg and profit of CNG station owners should stand at Rs4/kg in the country. This committee in its suggestion has recommended new prices of the commodity as Rs77/kg for Region-1 while Rs68/kg for Region-11, sources said on Friday, adding, that profit margin of the CNG stations is now likely to be decided. Similarly, the per kilogram profit on the sale of commodity and real production cost of the stations are expected to be determined.Proceedings to continue with their narrative, the sources exclaimed, “In comparison to Ogra’s technical committee’s recommendation the independent auditor has proposed an increase of about Rs28 per kg against Rs32 per kg reduction since October 25. The audit firm – Owais-Hyder-Noman-Liaqat – has submitted its report to the Ogra after completing audit of the 11 CNG stations, two each in the four provinces, two belonging to the oil marketing companies and one in Islamabad. Based on the accounts and documents provided by the CNG stations, the audit firm has assessed compression cost at Rs10 per kg and operating cost at 13.50 per kg as prudent. The firm had also proposed a profit margin of Rs4.50 per kg to the CNG operators. In such a way, the auditor had suggested an increase of Rs28 per kg in the prices of CNG rates.” Moreover, the audit firm in its report has made the compression and operating costs as compulsory for stations.Currently, the Ogra has fixed CNG prices at Rs61.64 per kg for Potohar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and Rs54.16 per kg for Sindh and Punjab following suspension of a 2008 agreement with CNG industry by the government during the hearing of the case by the apex court on October 25. It is pertinent to mention here that the regulatory body after completing consultation process with its legal brains would submit the report of audit firm and suggestion of technical committee to the Supreme Court on November 19.

Source: nation.com.pk