The Power Division on Monday notified an increase in electricity rates by Rs1.09 to Rs2.89 per Kwh (unit) for consumers of the K-Electric (KE) to bring them on a par with the rest of the country, with effect from September 1, 2020.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet had last month approved the summary moved by the Power Division for “the rationalisation of eleven quarterly adjustments of K-Electric Limited from July 2016 to March 2019”.
A notification issued by the division on Monday said “the federal government is pleased to notify ... the adjustment in the approved tariff on account of quarterly adjustments w.e.f September 1, 2020, as determined and recommended by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra)” vide its decision dated December 31, 2019, in respect of KE.
The adjustments will bring “KE consumers' end tariff at par with what is currently in field for consumers of [ex-Wapda] Discos (distribution companies)”, it added.
Nepra had recommended a Rs4.87 per unit increase in the average rate on account of quarterly adjustments of KE, but the ECC decided to allow a maximum rise of Rs2.89 per unit. The ECC decision was ratified by the federal cabinet on Sept 11.
Based on Nepra's determination, the ECC had in March this year approved an average Rs2.39 per unit increase in KE's tariff to bring it on a par with uniform national power tariff. This tariff has been pending for almost three years (11 quarters). In summers, this works out at about Rs3 billion per month, which drops to about Rs2bn or averages out at about Rs2.5bn.
Its application was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic at the time. The ECC again gave a go-ahead for its implementation with effect from July 1, 2020, but it was again withheld by the federal cabinet and Prime Minister Imran Khan on the desire of PTI members of the cabinet from Karachi amid floods and load-shedding.
However, as the problems continued, KE was assured during a meeting at the Governor's House of an immediate increase in its consumer-end tariff.
The KE tariff at present is Rs2.89 per unit lower than the rest of the country for almost all commercial categories, temporary residential, all bulk supply tariff, public lighting, residential colonies attached to industrial premises, and all industrial tariff categories.
The KE tariff for all residential consumers is Rs1.65 per unit lower than the rest of the country. The KE tariff for commercial consumers on less than 5kwatt load is Rs1.09 per unit lower than the rest of the country.