Discos seek Nepra’s nod for Rs2.94/unit hike

ISLAMABAD   -  After burdening the electricity consumers with an additional Rs106 billion in March and April electricity bills, the government is all set to increase the tariff once more, as Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G) has sought a hike of Rs2.94 per unit in tariff on account of monthly FCA.

The CPPA-G has filed a petition, on behalf of ex-WAPDA DISCOs (XWDiscos), seeking National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (NEPRA) nod for a hike of Rs2.94 per unit in tariff on account of monthly FCA for the month of March 2024. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority will conduct public hearing on the CPPA-G petition in the days to come. If approved by NEPRA, the consumers are likely to pay an additional over Rs30 billion on account of monthly FCA for the month of March, in their May bills.

During the incumbent government tenure, the electricity consumers have already paid additional Rs66 billion in their March bills, while will pay another Rs40 billion in their April bills on account of monthly FCAs for the month of January and February, respectively.

The total impact of January and February FCA was Rs106 billion (including GST). In March bills, the consumers had paid Rs66 billion (including GST) at Rs7.06 per unit on account of monthly FCA for the month of January 2024. Similarly, in April bills the consumers will pay an additional Rs40 billion (including GST) at Rs4.92 per unit on account of February FCA.

Interestingly, taking credit for reducing the monthly hike from Rs7.06 per unit to 2.94 per unit, the Power Division has said that as a result of government’s efforts, the request for reduction in electricity bills for the third consecutive month has been submitted to NEPRA. By issuing the statement, the Power Division wants to give the impression that they have reduced the tariff, but instead the additional burden has been curtailed.

Compared to March, April bills were brought down from Rs7.06 per unit to Rs4.92 per unit, said the statement. The request to reduce the fuel adjustment from Rs4.92 per unit to Rs2.94 for May as compared to April has been submitted for hearing in NEPRA. Bills for May will be reduced by Rs4.12 per unit compared to March, the statement said.

It is worth to note that on April 9, NEPRA had allowed ex-WAPDA power distribution companies (XWDISCOs) to charge an additional Rs4.921 per unit from the power consumers on account of monthly fuel charges adjustments for the month of February 2024. The decision will burden the power consumers with an additional burden of Rs40 billion (FCA+GST) in their billing month of April 2024.

Earlier in February, the NEPRA had ratified another hike in electricity tariff and allowed DISCOs to charge an additional Rs7.06 per unit from the consumers in March 2024. The NEPRA’s decision had burdened of the DISCOs’ consumers of an approximately Rs66 billion, which include the impact of Rs56 billion on account of FCA and the remaining due to imposition of 18 percent General Sales Tax (GST).

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