Caretaker Minister for Power and Petroleum Muhammad Ali says decision to increase gas tariff was taken in the greater national interest.

Addressing a news conference along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said the decision will not affect 57 percent domestic gas consumers. He said 36 percent middle class consumers will pay the prices according to their gas consumption, while only 7 percent rich class will be charged with high prices.

The Minister said the government is also giving 139 billion rupees subsidy to the domestic gas sector, while 45 billion rupees subsidy is being given to Urea and fertilizer sector.

He categorically stated that no increase in gas tariff has been made for Tandoors.

Muhammad Ali said there are several factors which compelled the government to increase in the gas prices. He said the gas reserves are declining for the past ten years and resultantly government imports LNG on cheap prices to meet requirements.

Sharing statistics about gas needs in the country, he said total gas requirement by OGRA in the country is of 916 billion rupees while it costs 513 billion rupees with a deficit of 403 billion rupees. He said had the gas prices not surged, the government would have to bear loss of over 400 billion rupees, which would have direct impact on our circular debt.

The Minister said the decision would also stop increase in the circular debt of gas sector, besides it will check sky rocketing price hike of commodities and foreign reserves position.

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Replying to a question, Muhammad Ali said gas will be provided to all new and old industrial units in South and North regions on equal prices.