Delayed notification causes Rs 15bn additional burden on power consumers

ISLAMABAD: Hapless power consumers are being additionally charged as power distributing companies (Discos) during last three months have collected Rs 15 billion from them ostensibly due to undue delay by the government in notifying upto Rs 1.67 per unit cut in the power tariff, which was earlier approved by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).
Both Water and Power Ministry and NEPRA have not stopped the Discos from ‘fleecing’ the masses with additional charges. At present the power companies were charging the power consumers with high power price in monthly bills. But, both to some extent are in deep slumber as no voice has been raised to rescue the innocent power consumers who pay their monthly bills in time.
A copy of official documents disclosed to Daily Times NEPRA has approved Rs 1.67 per unit cut in the basic power tariff in April. However, power ministry, despite passing long three months period of time, has so far not issued notification to this effect and set aside the rules.
Under Section 31(4) of NEPRA Act, 1997, when a tariff is intimated by NEPRA to federal government for notification in the official gazette the same is to be notified within 15 days or alternatively, a re-consideration request could be filed by the federal government within 15 days of receipt of such determination or decision.
Details of the documents also made it loud and clear power sector regulatory authority on April 28 completed the process of determination for the base power tariff of the discos for financial year 2013-14. And, with effect to the decision of decrease in the tariff which was made by the authority, Rs 1.09 per unit decrease in the price of power was made for the consumers using 100 unit per month, while Rs 1.67 per unit cut for consumers category use 101 to 200 unit per month, Re 0.24 per unit for consumers use 201 to 300 unit per month, Re 1 per unit for 301 to 700 unit per month while Re 0.50 per unit reduction in power tariff for the power consumer’s category who uses above 700 units in a month.
Similarly, Re per unit decrease in the power tariff for commercial, industrialist and agri consumers. However, power ministry used delaying tactics and could not issue much needed notification.
Experts said NEPRA for first time has approved surprising cut in the losses of power companies (Discos) that’s why reduction the tariff was made possible. 
They said finance and power ministries was using delaying tactics in the name of subsidy for fiscal year 2013-14 of power tariff while the Discos were charging the already burdened consumers with skyrocketing power tariff.
Top guns of water and power ministry are found busy in series of meetings to find an amicable solution to the so far unsolved power crisis of the country.
Finance Ministry is mulling to revise the subsidy of the tariff for FY 2013-14 and several meetings have been held in Finance Ministry in this very regard.
“As soon as Finance Ministry would approve the subsidy, Water and Power Ministry will issue power tariff notification, an official at Power Ministry said.

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