ISLAMABAD: Amid consumers’ opposition, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) reserved judgment on the government’s request for reducing electricity subsidy by about Rs20 billion through about Rs6.02 per unit increase in K-Electric’s consumer-end tariff from April to June.While concluding the public hearing on a petition filed by the Power Division for a hike in KE’s consumer tariff, Nepra chairman Tauseef H. Farooqui said the regulator would issue its determination shortly.

In two urgent petitions, the Power Division had asked the regulator to increase K-Electric’s consumer tariff by up to Rs6.02 per unit under two past quarterly adjustments and allow its recovery from consumers in three months — April to June — to ensure a national uniform tariff. The hearing was told that the government already recovered an equivalent increase in tariff from consumers of ex-Wapda Discos.

Under the request made by the Power Division, the tariff for up to 200 units of consumption in the domestic category would increase by Rs3.03 per unit during April and May and then Rs1.55 per unit in June. For consumption between 201 to 700 units, the rates would go up by Rs4.76 per unit in April and May and by Rs1.55 per unit in June. For all other categories, the tariff increase would be Rs6.02 per unit in these three months.

Under the petitions, the Power Division sought implementation of Nepra’s previous determinations envisaging up to Rs4.45 per unit quarterly adjustment for the first quarter of 2022-23 (July to September) and Rs1.55 per unit for the second quarter of 2021-22 (October to December) to the consumers of KE.

The average hike of the KE consumers for the first quarter of FY23 is Rs3.21 per unit, while it is Rs1.55 per unit for the second quarter of FY22. The Power Division has asked Nepra to issue separate schedules of tariff for these two quarters so that recoveries could be ensured before the close of the current fiscal year in line with budgetary subsidies.

Nepra had already allowed a hike of up to Rs4.45 per unit in power tariff, empowering the ex-Wapda Discos to transfer an additional burden of Rs42 billion to consumers on account of quarterly adjustment for the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year.

The regulator had directed the Discos to ensure that the additional burden is transferred during February and March and will have an average impact of Rs3.30 per unit on the consumers within a range for various consumer categories between Rs1.4874 per unit to Rs4.45 per unit for Discos.

Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2023

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