Nepra declines to approve tariff hike plea

Orders to reimburse over-burdened consumers’ already-paid surcharge worth billions of rupees along with interest from IPPs

ISLAMABAD - The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), while refusing to approve 45 paisas per unit power tariff hike sought by the Central Power Purchasing Agency, has ordered to reimburse the already paid surcharge along with interest from the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and sought a report in this regard.
Nepra’s hearing over the request of CPPA was held here under its vice chairman Khawaja Muhammad Naeem on Tuesday. During the course of hearing, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) declined to approve 45 paisas power tariff hike on account of monthly fuel price adjustment. The regulatory authority (Nepra) has directed National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) to present detailed record pertaining to power generation and it sale. Next hearing of Nepra on CPPA plea would be held on 24th December and would analyse the CPPA report. Besides, Nepra, while taking serious notice of power outages in various parts of the country due to prevailing fog, has recommended the ministry of water & power to hold inquiry against those involved in artificial loadshedding.
Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA), in a petition submitted with the Nepra, had sought power price hike by 45 paisas per unit under the head fuel price adjustment for the month of November but the authority has not given his approval.
The power sector regulatory authority (Nepra) has so far denied to approve 45 paisas per unit hike and said it would conduct another hearing on the above said matter. The regulator further declared that it would not pass on additional burden to the over-burdened power consumers without the scrutiny of record.
Terming the act of payment to IPPs as criminal, vice chairman Nepra Khawaja Muhammad Naeem said that the IPPs had been given additional amount worth in billions of rupees under the head Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) despite the issuance of a stay order from a court during the month of January. 
During the course of this hearing, the Nepra advised the concerned to reimburse the payments along with interest, which were already given to power distributing companies (Discos) and power generation companies (Gencos).
The CPPA in its plea pleaded to the regulator that power generation with furnace and diesel oil had caused heavy cost. In November, fuel cost of power generation was registered at Rs7.41/unit against the Reference Fuel Cost (RFC) of Rs6.96/unit. The CPPA further advocated that six billion, sixty-one crore and eight lakh units of power had been sold to the consumers in the month of November with a total cost of Rs49billion, 10crore and 19 lakh. More, power generation with coal source was registered at Rs3.61/unit, while Rs23/unit with high-speed diesel (HSD), with furnace oil Rs16.95/unit, with natural gas Rs 4.91/unit and Rs1.31/unit with nuclear source of the power generation. Similarly, power generation cost of imported Iranian power remained at Rs10.55/unit while power worth Rs19 crore and 87 lakh wasted in drain on account of transmission losses.
Taking serious notice of power outages amid fog, Nepra has recommended the water and power ministry to conduct an inquiry against artificial loadshedding and the officials involved in it.
According to vice chairman, the grid and transmission losses were registered due to criminal negligence of NTDC. He also said that power system during last two days was badly affected due to the negligence of NTDC officials. The vice chairman was of the view that transmission lines and grid do not trip due to fog or rain. No cleaning of grid and transmission lines was made from many years. A report telling the details of losses faced by the country’s economy should be presented due to outages. The power ministry should take action against the responsible officials, he added.
The vice chairman Nepra further said,” Million of rupees are being collected from the power consumers in the name of cleaning and repairing of transmission lines but NTDC and concerned officials do not do the same. Intensity and occurrence of fog is much higher in various countries of the world if compared with Pakistan but no power grid station or line tripping is reported over there.”

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt