Karachi all set for power price hike jolt

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ISLAMABAD: Karachittes should get ready to bear more costly power bills in the days ahead as massive Rs1.39/unit power tariff hike is on the cards and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has set March 31 for the hearing of power tariff plea sought by K-Electric (Formerly: Karachi Electric Supply Company Ltd.
Official sources in the power sector regulatory authority (Nepra) told Daily Times that K-Electric has sought heavy power price hike on account of monthly fuel price adjustment and quarterly tariff review mechanism and a hearing over the matter would be held on March 31 in Karachi. 
The Nepra would hold public hearing in Karachi with an objective to ensure the concerns of Karachites. Officials of the regulator, however, said that interests and suggestion of already burdened masses would be kept on top priority while setting the power tariff and the authority would take a decision in the light of people’s suggestions.
According to Nepra, K-Electric under the monthly fuel price adjustment mechanism has sought from the regulator to decrease power price by 49paisa per unit only for the month of November, while 04paisa/unit hike for December, Rs1.39/unit increase for January and 35paisa/unit raise under the head quarterly tariff review mechanism.
“Nepra is set to jolt the citizen of Karachi with a colossal power tariff hike because K-Electric has submitted tariff petition with a view to bridge what it called the yawning gap surfaced due to high cost of power generation in a quarter,” said a senior official at water and power ministry.
The K-Electric in its tariff petition submitted with the authority has pleaded that cost of power generation in December was recorded low, while it remained high in January 2014. 
Similarly, the private sector power utility (K-Electric) has sought from the regulator to jack up power tariff because K-Electric has to face additional cost of one billion and seventy five crore Pak rupees to ensure smooth supply of power to its consumers in the months of November, December, and January. 
K-Electric has supplied two billion and eighty crore units of power during the above said span of time. The power utility has also pleaded that there was a sharp decrease in gas supply during December and January and the power firm remained dependent on furnace oil that had cost heavily to the company.
It is worth mentioning that Karachi is the City of Lights. It is a metropolis of over 20 million and is one of the most populous cities in the world. K-Electric Limited formerly known as Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC) is at present the only vertically-integrated power utility in Pakistan that manages the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to the city. 
The Company covers a vast area of over 6,500 square kilometers and supplies electricity to all the industrial, commercial, agricultural and residential areas that come under its network, comprising over 2.2 million customers in Karachi and in the nearby towns of Dhabeji and Gharo in Sindh and Hub, Uthal, Vindar and Bela in Balochistan.

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