GI pipes fitting cost: SNGPL found involved in over Rs1 bn double charging of domestic consumers

The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) is found to be involved in almost over Rs1 billion swindle by double charging domestic consumers in GI (Galvanized Iron) pipes fittings while installing the gas connection meters since 2013.

Since 2013, the new gas connections of 300,000-400,000 are given to the masses every year, but in the 2018 elections, the number of gas connections surged up to in the range of 500,000- 600,000. The gas company has been found to double charge the consumers in the head of GI pipes fitting cost without approval by Ogra.

The regulator has now asked the SNGPL not only to immediately stop this ugly practice of double charging but also refund the amount to all consumers who have already been billed such an amount and submit compliance to this decision within one month.

The regulator in 2013 decided that “the long service lines are installed by the companies at 100pc cost sharing of the consumers”. The regulator determined the short service lines costs in the range of Rs1,500-3,000 for installing meters for the domestic consumer in the head of GI pipes, couplings, regulators and others things, but SNGPL is also found to have been charging the domestic consumers against installing one gas connection additional cost of Rs744 in the head of GI fittings other than the service line charges.

The service line charges already include the cost of GI fittings and the consumer pays service line charges when the meter is installed. And this is how the domestic consumers are being twice charged since 2013, which is is a violation of rules. These all disclosures have been unfolded in a letter titled ‘Charging GI material cost to consumers’ written on August 13 by Ogra to Managing Director of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL).

However, the SNGPL’s contention is that it is getting Rs744 as GI fitting from domestic consumers against gas connection arguing GI Fittings are not a part of the service line.

When contacted, SNGPL spokesman said that since FY10-11 this expenditure of GI fitting is being recovered from consumers on direction of Ogra as per its own revenue requirement determinations. And the letter from the ED Gas at Ogra to SNGPL MD informing its decision on GI fittings cost taken on consumer complaint cannot override decisions taken by the authority in the past.

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