ISLAMABAD: Though National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had approved a surprising cut of Rs1.67 per unit in base tariff of power distributing companies (Discos) more than three months ago, the Federal Ministry of Water and Power did not issue notification to this effect, as a result of which discos, during this period, collected additional amount of around Rs15billion from the consumers.

Documents available with Dawn disclosed that the national electric power regulatory authority during the month of April had approved Rs1.67/unit reduction in the basic power tariff.But, power ministry despite the passage of three months did not issue notification in this regard.

As a result, discos successfully collected additional Rs15billion from power consumers only due to absence of issuance of notification.

As per rules, the government (power ministry) is bound to issue notification within 15 days, documents added.

Sources said finance and power ministries are using delaying tactics while the discos are fleecing the already burdened consumers with skyrocketing power tariff.

They added top brass of the Ministry of Water and Power are found busy in meetings to find an amicable solution to so far unsolved power crisis of the country.

Details of the documents also made it clear that power sector regulatory authority on 28th April completed the process of determination for the base power tariff of the discos for financial year 2013-14.

And, with effect to the decision of decrease in the tariff which was made by the authority, Rs1.09/unit decrease in the price of power was made for the consumers using 100unit/month, while Rs1.67/unit cut for consumers category use 101 to 200unit/month, Rs0.24/unit for consumers use 201 to 300unit/month, Rs1/unit for 301 to 700unit/month while Rs0.50/unit reduction in power tariff for the power consumer’s category who uses above 700units in a month.

Similarly, Rs1 per unit decrease in the power tariff for commercial, industrial and agricultural consumers.

"Nepra Act section 31(4)Provided that the Federal Government may, as soon as may be, but not later than fifteen days of receipt of the Authority’s intimation, require the Authority to reconsider its determination of such tariff, rates, charges and other terms and conditions. Whereupon the Authority shall, within fifteen days, determine these anew after reconsideration and intimate the same to the Federal Government, “document said.

When contacted with a spokesman of Nepra, he said the authority had dispatched its decision to water & power ministry on 28th April, 2014. “The need is to notify the decision as early as possible,” he said.

He also said that after issuing of decision by the regulatory authority, Nepra Tariff Rules made the regulatory bound to forward the decision within 72 hours to the ministry of water and power for the notification.

A spokesperson of power ministry also said that finance ministry is mulling to revise the subsidy of the tariff for FY 2013-14 and several meetings have been held in finance ministry in this very regard.

“As soon as finance ministry would approve the subsidy, water and power ministry will issue power tariff notification and the Nepra would also be informed,” he said.

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