Zero-rated units in Karachi complain of being over-charged

K-Electric says it is waiting for directives from the Power Division


Our Correspondent March 28, 2019
PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Zero-rated industries in Karachi have complained of not receiving the full benefit of cheaper electricity as, according to them, they have been over-charged.

The SITE Association of Industry has appealed to Minister for Power Omer Ayub Khan and Finance Minister Asad Umar to take notice of the “discriminatory electricity charges applied on zero-rated industries in Karachi”.

It urged the federal government to immediately issue a notification to fully implement the zero-rated industry support package.

Following the issuance of SRO 12(I)/2019, the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, Lahore Electric Supply Company and Faisalabad Electric Supply Company have been billing industrial consumers at the rate of 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

On the other hand, according to the zero-rated industries, K-Electric has been billing its consumers at 7.5 cents per kWh on variable charges and then includes fixed charges, government duties and taxes.

“As a result, the amount charged by K-Electric is far higher compared to other distribution companies,” said SITE Association of Industry President Saleem Parekh. “Due to this, the production cost of consumer products has increased compared to that for customers of other distribution companies.”

He voiced fear that it would be impossible to continue production at the high cost and export orders were at stake. In a statement, K-Electric said, “it (K-Electric) is a law-abiding, responsible corporate entity which ensures compliance with all respective guidelines prescribed by relevant authorities.”

“The power utility follows due process in coordination with the authorities concerned, ensuring prior notification and seeking permission wherever applicable on timeline and implementation of directives,” it stressed.

With respect to implementation of the zero-rated industry support package, K-Electric said it had already sought clarity from the Power Division through a letter dated March 11, 2019 and it was also engaged with the Ministry of Energy for the same purpose.

“We are currently waiting for directives from the Power Division in response to our letter to make any adjustment in consumer bills accordingly,” added the statement.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2019.

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