Thursday, June 20, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

NEPRA reserves decision on the govt’s plea to increase power tariff for Karachi residents

ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Monday reserved its decision after hearing the government’s plea to increase the price of electricity for Karachi residents.
According to reports, NEPRA officials concluded a contentious hearing on the government’s request to increase electricity prices in Karachi, raising concerns among industrial and domestic consumers alike.
NEPRA officials confirmed that adjustments have been received from Distribution Companies (DISCOS) users, resulting in a substantial tariff increase of over Rs 8. After the adjustment, the unit rate for electricity will surge from Rs 37 to Rs 47 for industries, excluding taxes.
NEPRA member, Mohtar Rana questioned the ability of industries to operate effectively under the new tariff structure. He said that the rate demanded by the government has a bad impact on the struggling industrial sector.
Contrary to the government’s estimate of a Rs 2,000 bill for 200 units of electricity, NEPRA officials expressed their astonishment at the figure.
NEPRA member, Rafiq Shaikh, challenged the claim by asking how many individuals had an electricity bill below Rs 2,000 in August.
K-Electric officials disclosed that approximately 1.3 lakh users in Karachi fell within the protected category.
NEPRA member Maqsood Anwar questioned the rationale behind nationwide protests given this information.
It was revealed in the hearing that 40% of electricity consumers in the country consumed less than 200 units of electricity.
NEPRA member Rafiq Shaikh pointed out that the data clearly suggests that power companies may have their own role to play in the situation.
Chairman of NEPRA, Waseem Mukhtar said that NEPRA’S role is to make decisions on the government’s request in accordance with regulations.
Out of 28 lakh domestic consumers, officials reported that the bills for 12 lakhs had already been below Rs 3,000.
Moreover, in August, 60% of commercial customers had bills below Rs 6,000, they added.
The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed its rejection of the proposed tariff hike, reflecting the mounting discontent among industrial and domestic consumers.
Complaints against the price hike flooded the hearing at NEPRA, with consumers vehemently demanding its rejection.
Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman, who has been vocally opposing the electricity price increase, alleged that some stakeholders, including K-Electric, had failed to honor investment agreements and had even engaged in electricity theft.
Meanwhile, caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (Retd) Maqbool Baqar has urged K-Electric to generate cheap electricity by using local fuel, including renewable so that people could heave a sigh of relief in power bills.
He also urged the KE to guide their customers to use such appliances, including fans and LED bulbs which consume less electricity so that their burden of heavy bills could be curtailed.
This he said while presiding over a meeting of KE to resolve their issues and work out a strategy to provide uninterrupted cheap electricity to the people of Karachi. The meeting was attended by Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab, PSCM Agha Wasif, Secretary Finance Kazim Jatoi, Commissioner Karachi Saleem Rajput, Adl IG Karachi Khadim Rind, Secretary Energy Fayaz Abbasi, KE CEO Monis Alvi, Tariq Shah of Energy dept, Shabar Zedi and others.
The chief minister said that the KE should add local fuel-based electricity in their system so that power tariff could be reduced. The CEO KE Moonis Alvi told the CM that the KE was going to add 2172 MW, including 1,182 MW from renewable energy.
The KE CEO told the CM that the tariff hike and power theft have shrunk power consumption by five percent and decreased recoveries by 3.4 percent. At this, the CM said that the ways and means should be explored to generate cheap electricity that the customers could afford to use.
Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab said that the PHL surcharge was applied to all customers across Pakistan to cover markup on loans taken on by Power Holdings Limited – a government entity – for power sector-related investments. He added that KE has no contribution to this debt, even then this surcharge (PHL) was levied on customers in Karachi as well.
Murtaza Wahab said that he would file suit in the NEPRA as Mayor of Karachi.
The Chief Minister said that he would also talk to the federal government to remove the burden of the Rs3.20 PHL surcharge.
The KE Chief told the CM that 174 instances of mob attacks on KE staff have been recorded, therefore he requested protection. At this, the CM directed Additional IGP Karachi Khadim Rind to provide protection to KE staff. The Additional IG Police said that KE has a separate police station with an SHO, and ample police staff. The CM directed the Adl IGP to functionalise the KE Police station.
The chief minister also directed the KE to ensure the timely provision of electricity bills so that customers could have a few days to pay them. The KE Chief assured the chief minister that the provision of bills well in time would be ensured. – NNI

Popular Articles