ISLAMABAD: On the advice of the federal government, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has increased electricity tariff for Karachi’s domestic consumers by 20 to 50 per cent for various slabs.
Nepra announced the tariff for K-Electric on the basis of a schedule of subsidy provided by the water and power ministry under which the previous slab benefit to higher consumption has been withdrawn, leading to an increase of Rs2 to Rs4.28 per unit for various domestic categories.
After the incorporation of subsidy, tariff for consumers using 201-300 units per month would go up by Rs2.09 per unit to Rs10.20 from Rs8.11. The tariff for consumers using 300-700 units has been increased by Rs3.67 per unit to Rs16 from Rs12.33 and for consumers using more than 700 units by Rs2.10 to Rs18 from Rs15.07.
The regulator acts on federal govt’s advice; rates will not apply to KE’s commercial, industrial customers
Similarly, peak and off-peak rates for high-end consumers using time-of-use meters have also been increased by Rs4 and Rs4.28 per unit, respectively. The peak tariff has been raised to Rs18 from Rs13.99 per unit and off-peak to Rs12.50 from Rs8.22.
Commercial and industrial tariff for K-Electric consumers will remain unchanged.
The Nepra notification said its determination passing on the benefit of 42 paisa per unit reduction in tariff as part of profit of K-Electric under its claw back mechanism for the period between Oct-Dec 2013 and Jan-March 2014 had been sent to the power ministry which filed a reconsideration request, along with the schedule of subsidy.
“The Ministry of Water and Power has mentioned that the change in subsidy is necessitated for maintaining uniform tariff across the country and for protecting the consumer interest,” Nepra said, adding that the increased tariff would not become operative with retrospective effect because the government had decided to absorb past recoverable tariff from consumers against tariff differential subsidy.
Strangely, a power ministry official said: “KE’s tariff has not been increased but brought on a par with the rest of the country”. He said KE’s effective tariff was on the lower side because of a court stay order which had since been vacated. Accordingly, KE tariff is now equal to similar consumer categories in the rest of the country.
The official claimed that in fact the KE consumers had been provided relief in the shape of non-billing of tariff from Oct 2013 to June 2014 because of the stay order issued by the Sindh High Court. The KE tariff during this period remained lower and because of the stay it could not be brought on a par with the rest of the country.
After the vacation of the stay, the official said, Nepra had issued the revised tariff to bring the KE tariff on a par with the rest of the country from Oct 2013, but the government did not burden the consumers and avoided changing the tariff till June 2014.
With the vacation of the stay order, the KE tariff would now be the same as in the rest of the country from July 1, 2014, the power ministry said.
Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2015