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Saturday, July 20, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Power tariff up ahead of ‘difficult months’, but not for over 80 million consumers

Power minister says next few months for household consumers will be difficult
Power Minister Khurram Dastgir, along with State Petroleum Minister Musadik Masood Malik, addresses a press conference in Islambad on July 26, 2022. APP
Power Minister Khurram Dastgir, along with State Petroleum Minister Musadik Masood Malik, addresses a press conference in Islambad on July 26, 2022. APP

The federal cabinet has approved an Rs3.5 per unit increase in the power tariff, however, 45 per cent of the population which according to estimates sums up to more than 80 million people would not be affected by such a decision.

“Next few months will be difficult for household consumers,” Power Minister Khurram Dastgir said while addressing a press conference on the federal cabinet decisions related to electricity tariffs. “The cabinet has approved the increased in electricity tariff on a condition that it will have no burden on the poorest consumers.”

He was flanked by State Petroleum Minister Musadik Masood Malik.

There are two types of consumers, firstly those who use 1 to 50 units and secondly those who use 1 to 100 or 200 units of electricity. The cabinet decision would not impact those whose bill remain below 50 or 100 units.

The decision comes as the country deals with heavy monsoon season, which has wreaked havoc in Balochistan and some parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority approved a massive increase of Rs7.91 per unit in the basic power tariff on June 3. After this increase in the tariff price of one unit has soared to Rs24.82.

Salient features

  • Electricity service will be available 24 hours at dedicated industries feeders
  • Steps under way for providing cheap (tariff near to neighbouring countries) electricity and gas to five big export sectors
  • Efforts will be made to avoid interruption in electricity supply at mix feeders
  • 4,200MW of electricity was being produced through Tarbella, owing to rain
  • Fuel surcharge will be evident in the tariff
  • 1/3 of the population will not be affected by this decision (13 million households)
  • 11MW of K2 nuclear plant has started working
  • Rs21.50 of the average tariff for June will increase by December
  • 27 million are household consumers
  • Electricity price to come down
  • Fuel adjustment made part of rebasing
  • 40% to 50% of people have been saved from this rebasing
  • Circular debt stands at Rs2,253 billion after a decrease of Rs214 billion

The power minister added that the increase was already being taken through bills in form of fuel surcharge. He also blamed the PTI for the energy crisis like his other cabinet members.

The decision would come into effect from July 26 (today). There would be another Rs3.5 per unit increase in electricity next month. Then, there would be a break for a month. The government would approve a 90 paisa per unit increase in October.

“In these three months, consumers will have difficulties,” he said. But, after November the tariff would start decreasing.

Dastgir said that the economy would be stable by the end of this year as it would sign agreements with global lenders.

Malik claimed that the previous government did not announce the decision taken to rebase the tariff. He defended that the incumbent government did pressers to ensure transparency.

“If you will pay the bill, hopefully, you will get electricity,” Dastgir said.

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Khurram Dastgir Khan