National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Chairman Khwaja Muhammad Naeem on Friday proposed an increase in power tariff which the Supreme Court had earlier asked the government to retract.
Chairman NEPRA Khawaja Naeem said this at a briefing at the Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power in Islamabad on Friday.
Naeem was of the view that the government had directed to determine the prices of electricity in accordance with rules and regulations.
The NEPRA chief said the process of reviewing the tariff of electricity would be completed within 24 hours.
He said tariff of two rupees per unit will be charged from lifeline consumers using up to 50 units of electricity.
Tariff of 8.11 rupees per unit will be applicable on consumers of 101 to 200 units‚ 14 rupees on 201 to 300 units and 16 rupees per unit on consumers of 301 to 700 units.
He said 18 rupees per unit will be charged from consumers using over 700 units.
According to the notification, tariffs will be increased for domestic consumers by nearly 30 percent, and will be calculated backdated from October 1.
The new tariffs mentioned in NEPRA’s notification were similar to the price increase announced by the government in late September. The Supreme Court had, however, ordered to cancel the increase since the raise did not follow the prescribed regulations.
The Supreme Court had had questioned Water and Power Minister Khwaja Asif on the government’s decision to increase power tariffs stating that it was a decision which should be taken by NEPRA.
“It is not your job to determine whether the tariff is high or low, you should only tell us if it is your jurisdiction or not,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had said.
“In the presence of NEPRA, the government cannot issue a notification to determine power tariffs,” the apex court had noted.
The government then complied with the Supreme Court’s order to retract the tariff but then had proposed the increase to NEPRA which subsequently issued the notification asking for the tariff increase on Friday.
As per the increase in tariffs, even if no electricity units are consumed, a minimum charge of Rs 75 will be levied.
The Ministry of Water and Power then issued a notification confirming the tariff increase.