NEPRA reserves verdict on power tariff hike
National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) conducted a hearing in Islamabad on the federal government’s request for a phase-wise increase in electricity rate on Wednesday and said the decision taken by the authority will be posted soon.
During the hearing, Nepra Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi noted that the cost of electricity production is now 16 times more compared to the past, surpassing all previous estimates.
“If the consumer will not pay the price difference, who will?” the Nepra chairman asked those attending the hearing.
Additional Secretary Power Division Mahfooz Bhatti said that Nepra had approved the increase in electricity tariff by Rs7.91 per unit on June 4 yet they do not want the public to bear the burden in one go.
He added that despite the increase in power tariff, the government still has to share a load of Rs220 billion to keep more burden off consumers.
The additional secretary pointed out that the increase in the electricity rate would only affect 50% of consumers.
Speaking on the occasion, Nepra chairman highlighted that the fuel prices registered an increase in the global market.
“Coal imports that cost $50 dollars per ton three years ago currently cost $400 dollars,” Farooqi maintained.
“The cost of fuel is now eight times higher while the dollar rate has also doubled.”
He said that Nepra cannot control global fuel prices or dollar rates which are variables causing an increase in electricity prices in Pakistan.
Nepra chairman also clarified that fuel price and quarterly adjustments will continue despite the increase in tariff owing to the volatile global market trends.
The federal government has requested Nepra to increase the basic electricity rate by Rs3.50, twice, in July and August.
It also recommended an additional increase of 91 paisas per unit in October.