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KARACHI: The consumers of K-Electric on Thursday raised objections over the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) move to shift the monthly fuel adjustment charges meeting to Islamabad later this month.

KE’s multi-year tariff (MYT) was awarded to it in 2002 by Nepra and expired on June 30, 2016. KE submitted a petition to Nepra for a 10-year extension in the old/existing tariff with minor modifications and adjustments. It has now also requested the regulator to allow fuel adjustment charges for the month of Dec 2016 on provisional basis — keeping in mind the fuel cost variation of KE’s own and external generation sources.

To hear the case, Nepra has called a public hearing on Jan 26 at its headquarters in Islamabad.

KE consumers — including shareholders, industrialists and citizens — objected to shifting the hearing to the federal capital even though the issue affects the people of Karachi.

Talking to Dawn, General Secretary of KE Shareholders’ Association Chaudhry Mazhar Ali said KE Consumers Forum wants the hearings to be held in Karachi. “How can Nepra be holding a hearing to fix new fuel adjustment charges with the multi-year tariff suspended?” he questioned.

Ahmad Azeem Alvi, chairman of Public Sector Utilities Power and Gas, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries, also raised questions over holding the hearing in Islamabad when all KE stakeholders were in Karachi.

He also requested Nepra to not raise tariff in the name of fuel adjustment at a time when KE is going to be taken over by the Shanghai Electric Power Company. It was also reminded that in 2002, when the multi-year tariff was awarded to KE by the government, it was on the higher side. This was in consideration of KE carrying the burden of extra work strength, which it does not have now but still the consumers continue to pay for it.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2017