- Government application seeking increase in tariff approved after public hearing.
- Despite the increase, the government will “take 158 billion rupees in subsidies”.
- The cabinet approved a steep increase in the base tariff by up to Rs 7.50 per unit.
Islamabad: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has notified a steep hike in the base tariff of electricity by up to Rs 7.50 per unit on the request of the federal government.
In a notification issued on Tuesday, the electricity regulatory authority said the new rates will be effective from July 1, 2023.
It further added that the application of the federal government seeking a hike in tariff was approved after a public hearing on the matter at NEPRA Tower Islamabad on Monday (July 24).
The notification said that during the hearing, the Ministry of Power stated that the increase requested through “instant motion” is within the total revenue requirement set by Nepra and that despite the proposed increase, the government will take a subsidy of Rs 158 billion.
The federal cabinet last Saturday approved a steep hike in the base tariff of electricity by up to Rs 7.50 per unit against the national average tariff of Rs 4.96 fixed by the power regulator.
Sources said that this approval was given by the cabinet through circulation summary. geo news And a request has been submitted to Nepra.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had said that Lifeline (up to 100 units) and protected category of consumers (101-200 units per month) would be exempted from the recent steep hike in power tariffs.
Earlier this week, the regulator also hiked tariffs for loss-making power distribution companies (discos) during the current financial year to boost revenue collection.
The federal government sought cabinet approval by way of cross-subsidy, adjusting different rates of increase for different consumer categories, though without affecting the overall revenue requirement.
According to a statement by Nepra, the revised national average tariff for the 2023-24 financial year has been fixed at Rs 29.78 per unit kWh, which is Rs 4.96 per unit higher than the national average tariff of Rs 24.82 fixed earlier.
While the regulator cited rupee depreciation, higher inflation and interest rates, addition of new capacities and overall lower sales growth as reasons behind the increase, the increase was in fact to meet one of the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to initiate structural reforms in the energy sector.
However, the applicable tariff will be much higher after including surcharge, taxes, fees and levies apart from monthly and quarterly adjustments.