Government withdraws power tariff increase notification

Published: October 4, 2013
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CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says govt should make policy to provide relief to public. PHOTO: REUTERS

CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says govt should make policy to provide relief to public. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Under pressure from the Supreme Court, the government withdrew the notification regarding the latest power tariff increase, Express News reported on Friday.

On September 30 the government had announced that the electricity tariff for residential consumers would be increased by Rs5.89 per unit on those people who consume 201-300 units of electricity and by Rs 3.67 per unit on those who consume 301-700 units of electricity. The increase in electricity tariff was one of the requirements of the loan deal the government struck with the IMF.

The Supreme Court on October 1 took notice of the increase in electricity tariff. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Chaudhry had asked the government to submit the new tariff notification to the court.

During a hearing on the issue today, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said “the court will hold the government responsible if it fails to provide relief to the general public.”

He further added, “The government should make a policy addressing this issue and should not drag the court into it.”

The power tariff increase case was adjourned for two weeks.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Oct 4, 2013 - 12:38PM

    Thank You Supreme Court…

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  • Sarmad
    Oct 4, 2013 - 12:48PM

    Thank you CJ! Its not about being whether or not its a requirement from IMF, its about whether or not there is something called Law in this country

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  • logic
    Oct 4, 2013 - 12:54PM

    Chief Justice deserves dual charge allowance as he is also acting as Prime Minister of Pakistan

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  • sid
    Oct 4, 2013 - 1:06PM

    This would be bad in long run……………

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  • Syued A. Mateen
    Oct 4, 2013 - 1:09PM

    Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and Supreme Court have played an important role in taking back the increase in power tariff.

    I wonder what senseless decision was taken by the Government when the Government knew it very well that ordinary people of Pakistan cannot pay the hike in the electricity prices.

    SUPREME COURT ZINDABAD

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  • Nadir
    Oct 4, 2013 - 1:22PM

    What a cop out. Just kicking the ball down the road.

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  • Zuhair
    Oct 4, 2013 - 1:53PM

    It is only temporary. It was only a procedural glitch. The revised tariffs will again be the same. So chill all out there

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  • waqas
    Oct 4, 2013 - 2:07PM

    @ Syud A.Mateen

    In my opinion,ordinary people do not consume more than 200 units of electricity in Pakistan.

    If the prices will not be increased,circular debt will keep on increasing,and then there will be non stop load shedding.

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  • lalai
    Oct 4, 2013 - 2:08PM

    What is worse than bad leadership is duplicity of command. A country cant be run in this manner by making one decision and taking it back under pressure.

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  • kashmiri
    Oct 4, 2013 - 2:08PM

    So the printing starts

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  • Oct 4, 2013 - 2:17PM

    Long live Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry as you have felt the pain of masses. In fact the Government has been rescued from the public wrath.

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  • Farhan
    Oct 4, 2013 - 2:21PM

    Lower tariffs will lead to note printing to fund subsidies on power/oil. A lot of people cheering this decision don’t realize that this will also lead to inflation.

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  • Disappointed
    Oct 4, 2013 - 2:22PM

    We won’t ever get out of debt. Because as Pakistani, we love to have relief without consequences. Blame others for miseries and enjoy debt till death !!!

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  • M
    Oct 4, 2013 - 2:23PM

    Does the supreme court have the mandate to order a reversal of a price increase? As per my understanding, the judiciary is there to check that everything is done in accordance with the laws of the state. Increasing/ decreasing the power tariff rates is an economic decision rather than a judicial one. I believe it is time the SC takes others matters seriously i.e. why were all the cases against Lal Masjid cleric dismissed, and why was the Sri Lankan cricket team mastermind acquitted of all charges, rather than meddling in the economic affairs of the country. It is simply not part of their mandate as far as I understand.

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  • Muhammad Ahsan KHAN
    Oct 4, 2013 - 2:30PM

    The CJ is really supreme. He appears to be above the Government and the Army. Since he has all the power why he does not ask the Government to hike the Energy Production to get rid of perpetual Load Shedding.

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  • ffff
    Oct 4, 2013 - 2:45PM

    If every thing has been done by SC so why is our parliament been established.

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  • Water Bottle
    Oct 4, 2013 - 3:03PM

    wHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON IN pAKISTAN?

    The job of the judge is to dispense justice. Why is a judge interfering in the governance?

    Sounds unconstitutional to me.

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  • Saud
    Oct 4, 2013 - 3:31PM

    Electricity prices need to be increased to realistic levels or we will fall back to the 16hr a day load shedding schedule. What the media has failed to understand and in turn explain to the public is that the notification has been withdrawn because of a legal loophole. The notification was legally required to be issued by NEPRA but was wrongly issued by the govt. The govt will correct this mistake and have NEPRA notify the increase again in a few days. Some cosmetic reduction in tariff will be made as a “face saving” measure for SC and media.

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  • saad saeed
    Oct 4, 2013 - 3:39PM

    He is not letting the executive do its work. This is unacceptable. What would the judiciary feel if the elected PM starts interfering in the constitution of benches. It must be condemned in unequivocal terms.

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  • Ali S
    Oct 4, 2013 - 3:40PM

    Just out of curiosity, did this power tariff include increase in rates for people who consume over 700 units of electricity?

    I’m sure the CJ’s decision will be met with public approval, but he also needs to consider the long-term effects of this on the economy – it’s shortcut solutions like this that keep driving the inflation rate through the roof.

    And anyway, it seemed like this power tariff was increased specifically for middle-class and upper middle-class people who pay their bills and have to suffer for their sincerity. The vast majority of people responsible for power theft would still have gotten away scotch-free.

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Oct 4, 2013 - 3:43PM

    @Waqas:

    You are wrong in saying that ordinary people consume 200 electricity a month.

    In Karachi ordinary people consume more than 300 units a month. To be fair, ordinary people consume more than 300 units and less than 1000 electricity units.

    Probably, the standard of living in Karachi is much higher than those ordinary people who may be living in the villages.

    Its not that by increasing the electricity tariff, the government will be able to overcome the circular depth.

    There may be opportunites for the Government where the government can bring more people into tax net to earn more revenues to reduce circular debt.

    I have told many times to the people sitting at the helm of the affairs to introduce “receipt” culture in Paklistan so that every one who is earning, no matter where he or she is working, to pay the taxt to the corcerned authoritiy.

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  • vasan
    Oct 4, 2013 - 3:48PM

    This is just crap. Too much of judicial overreach. Policy decision is the purview of the Govt and not Supreme court’s . Who is ruling the country ?. The govt cannot take this lying down

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  • ayesha
    Oct 4, 2013 - 4:19PM

    I wonder why the Honorable Chief justice didn’t take notice of recent petroleum price hike?,
    On the same date indian govt decided to reduce oil prices in connection with the international market.Recommend

  • A2Z
    Oct 4, 2013 - 4:43PM

    @All those who are lamenting CJ
    His involvement saved people from the iron hands of our government.
    Ordinary people do consume more than 200 units. Two light bulbs, two fans and a tv is consumes 200 units easily and once include the iron, your electricity meter will beat Bolt in 100m by 10 sec.
    Also the increase is not in steps/slabs. If some use 201 units of electricity then his bill would be calculated as 201 * (Price + Rs. 5.89). This would crush poor and ordinary people. Even higher middle class would feel the pressure as well.

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  • Stupid
    Oct 4, 2013 - 4:44PM

    @Syed A. Mateen:
    I agree, even in Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Hyderabad and all other big cities of Pakistan, there are very rare people who consumer electricity less than 200 units per month.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 4, 2013 - 5:23PM

    This will hurt economy in short and long run. Electricity is generated at a certain rate and must be sold at a price equal or more than its generation cost. Cheap electricity is not a right, its a privilege provided to those who can afford it. Cheap tactics would make you popular but its a very dangerous precedent. If I were in Mian Sahib’s shoes, I would immediately set Qazi courts to provide free and fast justice to common people..

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  • Oct 4, 2013 - 5:48PM

    Great step by SC. The government should look for other avenues for settling our debt. It should consider butchering billionaires and tax evaders and politicians.

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  • Tariq Khan
    Oct 4, 2013 - 6:02PM

    I vote for chief justice and also vote for law and constitution, because from previous year I observe that Chief justice take notice of many issue regarding prices of different items such gas, now the tariff increase in electricity or power he strictly noticed. But the policy maker whose setting in national assembly and provincial assembly are ( here i doesn’t have words to used for them simply i will to say) they are blood sucker of poor civilian.

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  • stupid
    Oct 4, 2013 - 6:18PM

    @A2Z:
    If I consumer 190 units for the month. I am sure my meter reader will 100% try to bill me for 205 units to bring me into higher slab rate.

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  • Jim
    Oct 5, 2013 - 7:02AM

    What a bunch of half-asked, dim-witted buffoons…people who don’t understand either history or economics. And you were gifted a country which you are running into the ground. Sad, really sad.

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  • Oct 16, 2013 - 1:54PM

    I would like to say ” thank you”
    the head of the government and the head of the state for providing chance to the honureable apex court under guidence of the chief justice Iftekhar Muhammed choudhery to interfare in the painful action of the democratically elected government.

    Through the action taken by government in regard to increase electricity terrif Now the people have seen the real face of those who were claiming during election campaign to provide unique facilities to poor people of the country.

    People has seen the real face of those who were talking to overcome the power shortfall with six moths but now in the contrary,power short fall has become double.

    Thank you MR. Chief Justice.

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