ISLAMABAD: For electricity that you consumed in August and paid for in September, you will have to pay some more, the power pricing regulatory body announced on Friday.
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) allowed the country’s power distribution companies an unprecedented increase of Rs3.04 per unit in electricity charges under ‘monthly fuel adjustments,’ for the month of August.
The retrospective adjustment will be applicable on all domestic and commercial, consumers except those served by Karachi Electric Supply Company and those consuming less than 50 units per month, a benchmark fixed for lifeline consumers.
Power distribution companies had requested Nepra to allow for an unprecedented hike of Rs3.06 per unit on grounds of loss incurred due to high cost of furnace oil used for electricity generation in August.
The hike was reportedly the highest-ever requested by the distribution companies.
After hearing of their plea on Friday, Nepra allowed them to apply a fuel adjustment charge of Rs3.04 per unit for the month of August. The adjustment would be recovered from customers in the next month’s bill.
The National Assembly on Friday formally announced that a 17-member special committee had been formed to identify the reasons for the current power crisis and propose remedial measures.
Although the motion was adopted unanimously, the notion of the committee was questioned by some quarters. Syed Asif Husnain from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), warning against expecting too much from committees, reminded the house that a special committee set up to monitor oil prices had failed to make any significant contributions and was no longer functional.
Similarly, Begum Ishrat Ashraf from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) suggested the house entrust the matter to an already existing committee on water and power.
Constituted by Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza, in consultation with parliamentary leaders from all political parties, the committee will submit its proposals before the next session on November 14.
However, despite 15 days having passed, there has been no progress towards setting up a parliamentary committee to oversee the implementation of previous resolutions, including one agreed during the recent All Parties Conference (APC) on national security.
The matter is likely to linger even further, as the speaker is scheduled to leave Pakistan for a five-day visit to Tirana, Albania, along with a parliamentary delegation.
The 17-member special committee comprises: Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan, Nawab Muhammad Yousaf Talpur, Khurrum Jehangir Wattoo, Dr Ayatullah Durrani, Shahid Khan Abbasi, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman, Rana Asif Tauseef, Sheikh Waqas Akram, Muhammad Farooq Sattar, Bushra Gohar, Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi, Muhammad Jadam Mangrio, Mufti Ajmal Khan, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Usman Khan Tarakai and Saima Akthar Bharwana.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY QAMAR ZAMAN
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2011.