Power tariff: APTMA demands correction to January bills

Rs3 per unit reduction in electricity was not calculated

Our Correspondent February 15, 2016

LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab Chairman Aamir Fayyaz has called for immediately issuing directives to electricity distribution companies for correcting the January bills in accordance with the prime minister’s announcement of tariff reduction.

The premier had announced a reduction of Rs3 per unit in the industrial tariff, followed by the February 4 notification by the Ministry of Water and Power. However, the bills have yet to reflect the commitment.

Fayyaz said the last date for bill payment should be revised from Feb 19 to Feb 22, in view of the difficulty traders would face in paying the unexpected charges.

“The electricity distribution companies have issued January bills at the rate of Rs12.50 per unit instead of the revised charges. This has resulted in a rush of member mills at offices of the distribution companies for correction in the bills.”

“However, the concerned staff is unable to correct the bills because of the absence of an internal correction mechanism, pushing the mills to pay the January bill and get adjustment in the February bill when the system would be in place,” he added.

He said the industry has already sold consignments based on electricity cost of Rs9 per unit but the fiasco would debilitate the industry’s liquidity if no immediate intervention was made by the ministry.

He said the industry had a long-standing demand for Rs3.63 surcharge to be removed from the electricity bills. The prime minister’s announcement was understood as his consent to it, which led to selling of products at a reduced energy cost.

He also pointed out that the fuel price adjustment was a right of the industry, which should not be taken away under the garb of Rs3 per unit reduction in electricity unit price. The industry would lose competitiveness if this facility is not implemented in true spirit.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2016.

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