ISLAMABAD    -    The federal govern­ment on Tuesday in­creased the base pow­er tariff by Rs 3.50 per unit and announced that the next two phases with the ac­cumulative impact of Rs4.41/unit will be im­plemented by October.

Of the total Rs 7.91/unit national average increase in base tar­iff, Rs 3.50/unit hike in the tariff would be effective from July 26 while anoth­er Rs 3.50/unit from August, and anoth­er Rs0.91/unit hike from October, Feder­al Minister for Pow­er Khurram Dastagir said while addressing a press conference here. Flanked by Min­ister of State for Petro­leum Musadik Malik, the power minister claimed that one third consumers will not be affected by the rebasing of pow­er tariff. The government will increase base tariff by Rs 7.91/unit taking the National Average from Rs 16.91/unit to Rs.24.82/unit. The decision will enable government to recover addi­tional Rs893.83 billion from the consumers during ongoing fis­cal 2022-23.

Khurram Dastagir said that cabinet had approved increase in base electricity prices.

The hike in base tariff would have no such impact on the con­sumers as the increase had al­ready been reflected in the monthly bills on account of fuel prices adjustment, he added.

However, he said that govern­ment had protected poor seg­ment of the society from the in­crease. The government had not made any changes in electrici­ty rates for the users consuming from 1 to 50 units in a month. Similarly, there would be no in­crease in tariff for the consum­ers using 200 units in a month, he added. First three months would be difficult for the con­sumers but the power prices would start decreasing from No­vember after reflection of fuel surcharge in the tariff, he added.

The cabinet had also decided to provide smooth and uninter­rupted power supply round the clock to the dedicated industri­al feeders to protect the liveli­hoods of the people, the power minister said.

He said it was also decided to provide both gas and electrici­ty on priority basis to five major export sectors on reduced rates. An announcement to this effect would be made soon, he added.

The minister said that pow­er generation has significantly jumped up owing to increased hydel generation from Tarbe­la and resumption of 1100 MW from nuclear power plant K-2. Currently, hydel generation from Tarbela stood at 4500 MW.

The Circular Debt has been re­duced by Rs 214 billion while steps were also being taken to reduce line losses, he added.

To another query, the Khurram said entire tunnel of Neelum Jhelum was being de-watered to assess the confronting issue while Guddu power plant was generating 460 MW.

A new law is coming to effect that will bring transparency in commercial transactions be­tween governments, the minis­ter said. Many friendly countries want to invest in Pakistan, he maintained. There were delays regarding privatisation, he said, adding, the draft law on priva­tisation for investment in Paki­stan will soon land in the assem­bly for approval, he announced.

Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik said that the ef­forts being made by the present government would start yield­ing results in November this year. Regarding rebasing of the power tariff, the minister said, it was the basic production cost of electrici­ty that included the fuel rate, loss­es, and other expenses faced in transmitting power to consum­ers. As per the law, he said, the re­vision was a regular process, but the PTI government after Febru­ary 2021 did not carry out the re­basing. “Non-rebasing does not mean that the consumers do not pay the price. Rebasing means to make a formal announcement, as the current government has done today,” he said.

The state minister said the previous government was in the practice of non-announce­ment of the rebasing but con­tinued increasing the price on account of fuel adjustment and quarter tariff adjustment in electricity bills.