Blow to consumers as Nepra approves Rs7 per unit hike for March

By
Our Correspondent
|
A representational image of pylons and power lines. — Reuters/File
A representational image of pylons and power lines. — Reuters/File

  • Tariff increase to apply to all categories except e-vehicle stations.
  • Masses to bear burden of around Rs56 billion, Rs 66 billion with GST.
  • Experts express concern over increase in fuel cost of Rs14.62/kWh.


ISLAMABAD: In a blow to the inflation-weary masses, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved a Rs7.0562 per unit hike in terms of fuel charge adjustment for the month of March, The News reported on Tuesday.

With the state-run power distribution companies allowed to bill additional charges, the move is expected to impose a financial burden of approximately Rs56 billion on consumers, with the potential to rise to nearly Rs66 billion due to the 18% general sales tax (GST).

The tariff increase applies to all consumer categories, excluding electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) and lifeline consumers. Notably, the central power purchasing agency (CPPA) in its petition on behalf of the distribution companies, had pleaded for Rs7.13 per unit.

Earlier this month, The News reported ex-Wapda distribution companies (XWDiscos) request for Nepra's approval for an R7.13 per unit hike due to a significant decline in hydropower production and systemic constraints like the incapacity of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line to effectively move economically viable power from southern producers to the north.

Meanwhile, the primary concern raised by the commentators is the enormous increase in the fuel cost of Rs.14.6206/kWh for January 2024.

In view thereof, the authority, while taking strict notice of the matter, has decided to initiate an investigation to ascertain the reasons for such a huge fuel cost, claimed by CPPA-G for January 2024, under Section 27-A of the NEPRA Act.