LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Tuesday took notice of the recent increase in electricity tariff, Express News reported.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry asked the government to submit the new tariff notification to the court.
Commenting on the issue, the chief justice said only the poor segment of the society will suffer from the price hike, adding that the government should focus on recovering dues rather than increasing rates.
Lahore High Court
The increase in petrol and electricity tariffs were challenged in the Lahore High Court on Tuesday.
Advocate Masiur Rahman Chaudhry filed a petition at the Lahore High Court demanding that the increase in the petrol and electricty tariffs be declared illegal.
He stated that in the international market the oil prices are decreasing whereas in Pakistan the opposite is happening.
“The Indian government decreased the petrol price yesterday as well.”
He further said, “the government is increasing the prices because of personal gains and putting the average citizen in a state of complete misery”.
The hearing of this case will be held tomorrow (October 2).
Pakistan’s Peoples Party has also submitted a motion at the Punjab Assembly regarding the price hikes.
On September 30, the pain of higher electricity tariffs – by as much as 30% – was compounded by a 4.2% oil price hike, sending the average citizen into deep economic shock.
The latest surge in power tariff is set to impact domestic consumers with those using 200-300 units facing a 72.6 per cent increase in rates from Rs8.11 to Rs14 per unit.
Similarly, consumers using 201-300 units per month across the country and 301-700 units of electricity will now face a 30% increase in the power rate from Rs12.33 per unit to Rs 16 per unit.
Worst hit still are those high end consumers who use more than 700 units of electricity per month. With a withdrawal of concessionary rates at lower slabs, such high end consumers will now have to pay Rs18 per unit instead of Rs15.07 per unit starting this month.
The new rates, to be effective from October 1 (today), come as the government stringently follows the structural reforms agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) against the Extended Fund Facility loan amounting to $6.67 billion.
Oil prices increased
The government on September 30 increased the price of petrol by Rs4.12 per litre and High Speed Diesel by Rs4.69 per litre.
Petrol price has been increased to Rs113.24 per litre from Rs109.13, while the price of high-speed diesel, which is mostly used in cargo and passenger vehicles as well as in agriculture, has been increased to Rs116.95 per litre from the existing Rs112.26.
Meanwhile, an official has said that the prime minister has approved a subsidy of Rs 2 per litre on High Speed Diesel (HSD) and petrol to provide relief to consumers.