business
Thursday Jul 07 2022
By
APP
,
BDBusiness Desk

No proposal on increase in electricity rates approved: Khurram Dastagir

By
APP
,
BDBusiness Desk
Minister for Power Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan  — APP
Minister for Power Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan  — APP
  • Cabinet has not yet approved increase in power tariffs, says Khurram Dastagir.
  • Says matter was reviewed at Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting.
  • There will be a significant reduction in load-shedding during Eid holidays, he says.


Minister for Power Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan on Wednesday refuted speculations of an increase in electricity rates by stating that the cabinet had not yet approved such an increase.

The minister stated at a news conference that while the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has established the rebasing tariff, the topic had not yet been brought before the cabinet.

The matter was reviewed at the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting, where it was proposed that the tariff will be hiked in three instalments in July, August, and October. 

However, after discussing the matter with its affiliated parties, the administration determined that the tariff would not be increased for lifeline consumers and that they would receive a substantial subsidy. He stated that the Punjab government has also promised that users consuming up to 100 units will receive free power.

According to Dastagir, water inflow into Tarbela Dam has increased significantly over the last five days, and it has begun producing 3,864MW as opposed to 1,100MW on July 1. In addition to this, the demand for electricity has decreased due to the improvement in the weather, he added.

The minister stated that there was an average electricity shortfall of 4,000 to 5,000 MW and that there will be a significant reduction in loadshedding during the Eid holidays. The refuelling of the K2 nuclear power station is currently underway, and it will begin producing 1,100MW of electricity to the national grid before Eid, significantly reducing loadshedding in the country.

Khurram noted a significant improvement in the import of coal from Afghanistan, as well as the signing of an agreement between commercial partners and Independent Power Producers (IPPs). 

The Pakistani and Afghani governments just served as facilitators for the accord. After Eid, a Pakistani delegation will travel to Kabul to finalise coal import mechanisms, and they are seeking to launch a 24-hour coal supply operation from Afghanistan.

He stated that Pakistan Railways played a key role in supplying coal to the Sahiwal Coal Power station, adding that three coal-laden trains have already arrived in Sahiwal. During the current fiscal year, the government will add an additional 5,000 MW to the national grid, according to the minister.

All of these initiatives were launched by the previous PMLN administration led by Nawaz Sharif, he said. In response to a question, the minister stated that Pakistani rupees would be used to purchase coal from Afghanistan.

The Chinese HUBCO Power Plant would likewise utilise Afghanistan-imported coal. In response to a question, he stated that the Neelum-Jhelum Power Plant is now down due to a technical failure, the cause of which is being investigated. He stated that every effort would be made to eliminate the defects as quickly as possible.