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Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif addressing a press conference in Islamabad on July 31, 2013.—Photo by INP
Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif addressing a press conference in Islamabad on July 31, 2013.—Photo by INP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairs a meeting of the Council of Common Interests on July 31, 2013.—Photo by INP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairs a meeting of the Council of Common Interests on July 31, 2013.—Photo by INP

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Wednesday approved the National Power Policy 2013 with the consensus of all the provinces.

The policy includes a raise in power tariff ranging from Rs3 to Rs7 for different categories of consumers.

The government's energy policy also approves the exploration of a ‘coal corridor’ with an estimated capacity of 7000 MW to generate cheaper electricity in order to meet the existing power crisis.

The council meeting, attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the chief ministers of the four provinces and Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif, also agreed to bring strict laws to curb gas and electricity pilferage.

Because of strong resistance put up by the Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a proposal for at-source deduction of electricity arrears from the provinces' share in the divisible pool was deferred.

Asif said the proposal would be taken up again about a month later.

The committee report also incorporated the Sindh Government’s demand for developing with the facilitation of the federal government ‘wind corridors’ to exploit wind resource in the coastal region of the province.

The technical committee also proposed ‘Integrated Utility Courts’ for dealing with electricity and gas thefts and rationalising the penalties for such crimes.

Both the proposals were approved by the CCI and made part of the National Power Policy.

Power tariff to be 'rationalised'

Later while unveiling the new power policy at a press conference, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif announced that the government would rationalise tariff for domestic consumers from October 1 and for commercial and industrial consumers from August 1.

The minister said new tariff for the consumers would be conveyed within days.

Asif said there would be no change in rate for first 200 units used by domestic consumers as an effort has been made not to put further burden on the poor.

He argued that change in tariff was unavoidable because not doing so would result in renewed accumulation of massive circular debt.

An official accompanying the minister said the average tariff for industrial consumers would go up to about Rs15 per unit from Rs9 and the average commercial tariff would rise up to Rs13.22.

The rate for bulk sales to residential colonies would be about Rs12 and average domestic rates would touch Rs15.50.

"The basic principle is to implement the minimum determined tariff of Nepra for each category to reduce a current gap of Rs5.81 per unit between the applicable and determined rates," he said.

The minister said the increase had been necessitated by a 13-14 month freeze on tariff imposed by the previous government. "Had the previous government gradually adjusted the tariff, the situation would have been much better and we would have paid Rs480 billion to retire circular debt."

Speaking about the new energy policy, Asif said the main thrust was to change the energy mix in the next three to five years by producing more affordable power from hydel and alternative sources and maintain tariff at a certain level.

He said the CCI had approved laws to increase punishment and fine for electricity and gas theft and to make them non-bailable and non-compoundable offences.

The minister added that steps were also under consideration to regulate the use of electricity in markets and business centers in evening.

He said 1100 megawatts could be saved by early closure of markets in evenings while 700-800 megawatts would be saved with the use of six million imported energy savers, which would arrive by September.

Comments (6) Closed

Razi Jul 31, 2013 11:36pm

Is this the awaited New Energy Policy? Instead reducing corruption in WAPDA/PEPCO and thus reducing the tariff the PML-N has kept the corruption as it stands and put the burden on already minced masses, industry and commercial sectors. Pl expect more unemployment more unrest more load shedding less exports negativeeeeeeeeeeeee balance of payment and richer you know who...

Mohammad Serajul Haque Jul 31, 2013 11:49pm

Exploit coal as s soon as possible & convert all power unit to indigenous coal . Imported coal are expensive and will not solve the problem. While developing local coal resources put up new power plant. Finance for the development of coal mines as well as for power plant could be arranged. Nation has work very hard to solve the energy problem.

amil Aug 01, 2013 01:22am

you wicked, don't raise tariff for domestic consumers using 500 units a month.

Muhammad Musa Aug 01, 2013 01:51am

Yes, these bulbs would help in curtailing load shedding but has anybody taken into account the havoc these energy savers will play with our environment ? they contain Mercury !!! Govt. should allow "Green energy savers" only as they contain less amount of mercury and also a policy would be required for their disposal, as it is being done in America and Europe.

If Govt. is bent upon energy efficient bulbs, why not LED lights ! is anybody working on these lines in concerned quarters ? It is time to think over it.

S. Israr Ali Aug 01, 2013 03:11am

There is reflected no change in coming with the new Government. Almost every fortnight, we see change in electricity tariff always upward. Now in PML(N) first ever Natiional Power Policy 2013 after taking over, it is the same rhetoric of PPP Government with which they are now taking start and to which criticising at the highest of their pitch they never felt tired and that is - "the change in tariff is unavoidable because not doing so would result in renewed accumulation of massic circular debt". One wonders what difference PML(N) has now brought with it if this was inevitable.

M.S, Ahmad Aug 01, 2013 10:25am

The new Power Policy will not work because (1) a fundamental accepted principle is being violated; (2) the key responsible entity and the