Complying with a federal government request to slash the power subsidy, the country’s power regulator has increased the tariff for K-Electric’s domestic consumers of all categories by 20 to 80 per cent for the month of Ramazan. K-Electric consumers will pay between Rs2 to Rs4.8 more for each unit of electricity they use during the holy month, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) decided on Friday.
Domestic consumers who use between 201 and 300 units a month will be charged an additional Rs2.09 per unit, as will those who use more than 700 units a month. However, those consuming between 300 and 700 units will be charged an additional Rs3.67 for each unit they use.
The power regulator also increased the tariff for consumers using ‘time of use’ (ToU) electricity meters by Rs4 per unit during peak hours and Rs4.28 per unit during off hours.
Following the decision, consumers using 201-300 units of electricity will pay Rs10.20 per unit, those using 300-700 units will pay Rs16 per unit and those consuming more than 700 units will pay Rs18 per unit. Consumers who use ToU meters, meanwhile, will pay Rs18 per unit for electricity used during peak hours and Rs12.50 per unit for electricity used in off hours.
On the other hand, the tariff for commercial and industrial consumers will remain unchanged.
Friday’s decision comes in the wake of a cut in subsidy for K-Electric consumers for 2015-16. The federal government slashed the subsidy to Rs20 billion from Rs29 billion in the previous fiscal year. According to the budget document, however, the actual subsidy for 2014-15 rose to Rs36 billion.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Water and Power said the tariff for K-Electric consumers will now be the same as that for consumers elsewhere in the country. “It will not be higher or lower,” he added.
The federal government had earlier imposed surcharges on power consumers across the country except for those getting their power supply from K-Electric.
The spokesperson said K-Electric consumers had been provided a huge relief from October 2013 to June 2014 due to non-billing of a tariff stayed by the Sindh High Court. “K-Electric’s tariff during this period was lower than anywhere else in the country.”
He added that once the court vacated the stay order in October 2013, it became imperative to bring K-Electric’s tariff at par with the rest of the country. “But we decided not to burden consumers and did not change the tariff till June 2014.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015.