Karachiites brace for inflated electricity bills : NEPRA likely to approve hike in power tariff today


KARACHI: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) is likely to approve increase in power tariff of K-Electricity (KE) formally known as the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) in a public hearing, which will held today (Monday) at a local hotel.
The KE in the month of February has submitted a plea to NEPRA and requested to increase it power tariff by Rs 1.39/unit on account of fuel adjustment, on which the regulatory body called the hearing in Karachi. However, power sector sources are expecting tariff increase permission from the regulatory body and termed the hearing just a formality.
A source informed that KE deliberately shows extra consumption of furnace oil via invoices; however, the reality is otherwise. He added, “Everyone knows KE shouts before the media regarding low gas pressure, and then they claim of operating furnace oil plants.”
“Now, NEPRA must know that the KE buys its furnace oil from its own sister entity and surprisingly there is nothing to check and balance about its buying and consumption,” he said, adding that NEPRA takes decision of increase in tariff in the light of invoices provided by the power utility which can be false.
KE Share Holder Association General Secretary Chaudhry Mazhar Ali talking to Daily Times said, “The regulatory will obviously give approval to power utility demand as have been done during past even though the large numbers of consumers raise reasonable valid objections on increase in electricity rates with the basis of bogus fuel price.”
The general secretary further said that KE is playing double game with consumers as on one hand the company is receiving billions of rupees in subsidy from Government of Pakistan on the basis of tariff adjustment and on the other hand every now and then getting price increase on the plea of fuel increase.
Mazhar Ali claimed that NEPRA recently set another example of providing undue favour to KE. “In a recent decision, the regulatory directed to KE to stop collecting bank charges and termed it duplication collection from Karachiites, however, deliberately power regulatory left a reluctance gesture in its decision on which KE has got stay from court,” he mentioned.
The KE, instead of regularising the unregistered power connections, laying necessary electricity infrastructure and even providing power meters, is involved in getting fixed amount illogically from its consumers who use kunda connections at the end of each month like monthly power bills.
Mazhar Ali informed that KE has been earning Rs 30 million every month from illegal connections spread across the city, adding that this amount goes direct in pockets of the management instead of going in KE account via legal process.
The KE has capacity of generating power more than requirement of Karachi; 20 million consumers but it deliberately shows less generation capacity to get power from WAPDA in order to get subsidy from the state. “Ministry of Water and Power should take immediate action otherwise fraud with government will be continued,” Mazhar Ali concluded.

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