TEHRAN (Iran News) – Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hassan Montazer Torbati said his company has issued over eight million free natural gas bills for efficient subscribers following a program for encouraging consumption management.
“This doesn’t mean that eight million subscribers have been offered free gas but the figure is the sum of the issued free bills since the beginning of the program, since some consumers have been given 100 percent discount over their bills for several consumption periods,” Torbati explained.
According to the official, in terms of percentage, nearly 17 percent of the subscribers have been offered free gas so far. The figure is estimated to reach 30 percent in the current year, he said.
Back in December 2020, First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri sent a decree to the Oil Ministry providing the cabinet’s approval and the necessary instructions for offering free natural gas to low-consuming subscribers.
Based on the mentioned decree, NIGC was required to give a 100-percent discount on the gas bill of those households whose consumption is in accordance with some criterion provided by the cabinet.
Earlier that month, government spokesman Ali Rabiei had announced that the cabinet approved a plan to provide some 35 percent of the country’s 83 million population with free water, electricity, and gas in a bid to support low-income families.
“Energy-efficient households, who are mostly from low-income strata of the society, will receive free-of-charge water, gas, and electricity,” Rabiei had said.
The new incentive packages are implemented following the successful implementation of a similar program by the Energy Ministry based on which the ministry awarded low-consuming households with a 100 percent discount on their electricity bills.
Back in August 2020, Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian had announced his ministry’s plan for awarding low-consuming electricity subscribers with free electricity.
“This program will be implemented to both reward low-consuming subscribers and to encourage others to consume less, Ardakanian said in a press conference on the occasion of the Government Week.
President Hassan Rouhani said in early December 2020 that it is a great honor for the government to provide low-income families with free water, gas, and electricity.
“We supplied people with free gas, but we became self-sufficient in gas production beforehand so that we can meet the domestic demand in winter and even be able to export”.
“In the field of electricity, we achieved notable growth. We added the generation capacity and then we made supply free of charge. We also took substantial measures for reducing water consumption and water loss in different sectors,” Rouhani explained.