ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Friday allowed the energy ministry to increase electricity rates by about Rs3.30 per unit for Karachi-based consumers for three months to ensure a national uniform tariff and reduce government subsidy payable to K-Electric.

The increase in tariff would range between Rs1.49 and Rs4.46 per unit for various consumer categories. The increase comes a day after the regulator notified Rs7.43 per unit cut in monthly fuel cost adjustment for the current month.

The decision was taken unanimously by the four-member Nepra at the request of the Power Division following a public hearing on Dec 27.

Under the decision, the higher rates would be charged by KE to consumers in four months — January to April 2023 — on the basis of units consumed in October, November and December 2022. For the bills already issued in January, the increase will be charged with effect from the subsequent month.

The schedule of tariff (SoT) issued by the regulator showed that lifeline consumers with monthly consumption of up to 100 units would be exempted from the new charge.

The residential consumers using over 100 and up to 300 units will be charged Rs1.49 per unit and those consuming above 300 units will pay Rs3.21 per unit. The increase for all other consumer categories would go up by Rs4.46 per unit.

Nepra said it has adjusted the K-Electric tariff under the head of uniform tariff policy. Electricity users across the country are charged an equal or ‘uniform’ tariff under the rules and regulations of the federal government and Nepra.

In its petition, the Power Division had sought a Rs3.30 per unit increase in tariff under quarterly tariff adjustment (QTA) for KE to ensure uniformity in tariff across the country in line with the increase notified for power distribution companies (Discos).

It said KE was providing electricity at Rs43 per unit and the government was giving Rs18 per unit subsidy which it wants to reduce through Rs3.30 per unit QTA adjustment.

The regulator had approved a Rs3.30 per unit increase under QTA for Discos for fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2021-22 as part of subsidy reduction with a financial impact of about Rs94 billion.

Nepra said the federal government had sought the increase to make the tariff uniform across the country.

It said that “despite the proposed increase in tariff for all categories of the consumers except lifeline, the federal government would be picking up substantial amount of subsidy.”

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2023

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