ISLAMABAD - The PML-N government is likely to withdraw the controversial notification that led to phenomenal increase in the power tariff effective from October 1st, sources said on Thursday.
According to the sources, the government has devised a strategy that aims to rationalise the tariff and NEPRA would soon issue a new notification in this regard.
The sources further said that an important meeting was chaired by the Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, which discussed the issue at length.
The sources said the crucial meeting which was also attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Finance and NEPRA discussed threadbare the issue and decided to seek more time from the Supreme Court to rationalise the power tariff.
The apex court is to resume hearing of its suo moto notice regarding phenomenal hike in the power tariff ranging from 40 per cent to 210 per cent that stunned the people across the country.
Well-placed government sources told The Nation on Thursday that meeting held in the Ministry of Water and Power decided that NEPRA would issue a new notification on the basis of revised tariff of the power distributing companies.
NEPRA has shown its agreement under which it appears that the regulator was ready to extend the deadline required for the purpose of submitting a review application.
The Supreme Court while taking up the suo moto notice has expressed its displeasure over the irregularities in issuing the controversial notification. The court observed that since it was the duty of NEPRA to issue notification, why the government had done that.
Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the matter, Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has also expressed his displeasure and directed the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to get the power tariff revised in order to ensure that interest of the low-income groups should be protected at all costs.
The Prime Minister also asked the Finance Minister to make serious efforts to get rid of the expensive means of producing electricity and tap the abundant hydel resources of the country for power generation.
“Almost 70 per cent of power is being produced by using expensive furnace oil and only 30 per cent is produced from hydel sector,” the Prime Minister said.
Ishaq Dar informed the Prime Minister that 67 per cent of the total domestic users consume up to 200 units of electricity per month who are fully protected from the recent tariff.
He further said that the national exchequer has incurred heavy losses by not rationalising the tariff in the past.
Ishaq Dar said that the government is paying Rs 167 billion subsidy to protect the domestic users, at the present.