Four percent power tariff hike on the cards

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The government is all set to jolt the people with a power tariff hike again, as the Ministry of Water and Power has sought approval from the prime minister for increasing the power tariff of inefficient and corrupt distribution companies (DISCOs) by four percent. The hike has been sought for equalisation surcharge for the transmission and distribution losses from October this year.
An official source said the Ministry of Water and Power had recommended six percent increase in power tariff but the prime minister directed it to resend the summary with a four percent increase. The summary was returned as the massive increase in a single stride might have tempted the opposition parties to start another campaign against the government. The government has estimated an increase of 12 percent in power tariff from the start of the current fiscal year, but the decision was delayed due to the concerns of coalition partners.
Since the MQM is back in the government, there is no immediate threat of protests in Karachi, while strikes in Punjab would be averted through uninterrupted power supply, the source said. The surcharge would be applicable from the date it is notified on October bills that would be collected in November, he added.

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