The answer is in the bottom right corner
In my life, three things are certain: death, taxes and my SSGC gas bill coming between Rs220 and Rs250 every month.
This month, when my gas bill was Rs390, it disrupted what had been a long quiet tradition. The bill said that the extra amount was charged as “Previous Balance”.
I started to study the bill and went to the column on the right where the SSGC gives a breakdown of the charges.
A single line caught my attention: “Meter Rent raised to Rs40 wef Sep-20, diff appears as Debt Adj.”
I realised that the meter rent had been raised.
In the FAQ section of Sui Southern Company’s (SSGC) website meter rent is described as:
“The gas meter installed at the customer’s premises is the property of SSGC and a Monthly Meter Rent of Rs 20/- per month is charged for Normal Domestic Meters (G4 and G1.6) whereas it varies for other customers based on installed meter type as per OGRA approved notification for Fixed and Variable Charges.”
This meant that SSGC had increased meter rent from Rs20 to Rs40.
My bill said that I had to pay a previous balance, meaning that I owed SSGC the meter rent from earlier on. I decided to get in touch with their spokesperson to ask why I had suddenly been asked to pay for a higher meter rent now. Why had I not been informed earlier on?
“The Economic Coordination Committee in September approved the increase of meter rent from Rs20 to Rs40 for domestic consumers of both SNGPL and SSGC consumers,” SSGC Public Relations Officer Safdar Hussain told me.
“We did not increase it back then because of the coronavirus situation in the country,” he added. “We did not want to increase the hardships of the people.”
According to Hussain, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has now given directives to pass on the adjusted charges to consumers. So the gas utility company adjusted its rate from September 2020, when the decision was approved.
Now that SSGC has passed on the cost to you and me, it should also update the FAQ section of its website where the meter rent still says Rs20.