KARACHI: After the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) refused to lower the power tariff for the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), the water utility has started mobilising trade, industry and social welfare authorities for support.
In a statement issued on Monday, the water board said that it has contacted several business and trade organisations, including the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Association of Builders and Developers, and explained that it had requested a lower power tariff because it supplied an essential commodity to consumers for a nominal charge. The water board has complained that Nepra approved an increment in the power tariff by the Karachi Electric Supply Company a couple of months back, and that it refused to reconsider its decision. An additional monthly burden of Rs400 million in our power bill will have to be passed on to residential, commercial and industrial consumers, said the water utility in the statement.
KWSB managing director Misbahuddin Farid said that Nepra is a regulatory authority and therefore KESC could not increase the tariff without its consent. Farid was also upset that the water board had to pay 16 per cent general sales tax (GST) on its power bill, when 95 per cent of the water supplies goes to residential consumers. “Water supply to residents is a public service, and imposing GST on a public service is not justifiable.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2012.
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