The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Wednesday deprived consumers of a reduction in electricity price by imposing a surcharge of up to Rs 4 per unit on power consumers.
In addition to surcharges, the regulator has approved a cut of Rs 2.50 per unit subsidy for power consumers. NEPRA has imposed Rs 3 per unit surcharge on domestic power consumers whereas Rs 4 per unit has been imposed on commercial and industrial consumers.
The regulator has sent the decision to the federal government for notification. The decision follows a cut in subsidy for power consumers in the Budget 2015-16 announced last week.
Following this decision, the regulator has deprived consumers of relief worth Rs 90 billion. Consumers were supposed to enjoy a cut in electricity prices by Rs 1 to Rs 4 per unit depending on different category of consumers.
The current power tariff has been maintained by imposing surcharges. NEPRA has taken the decision despite the fact it is bound to pass on impact of cut in electricity prices to power consumers.
According to officials, federal government is required to make an amendment in NEPRA act to bar the regulator from taking decisions which pass on the impact of reduction in power price to consumers.
However, without making any such arrangement, the regulator succumbed to federal government’s pressure and imposed surcharges on power consumers to deprive them of relief to consumers in electricity bills.