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Power tariff increased Rate upped by Re0.85 per unit

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has increased the electricity tariff by Re0.85 per unit under the monthly fuel adjustment mechanism.

This raise has come despite a dissenting note of its Member Licensing Shaukat Ali Kundi and disclosure of massive irregularities of billions of rupees in power generation and its purchasing and the huge embezzlement of public money.

Nepra, the regulator, here on Thursday issued the notification to this effect. Under the notification, the poor masses will pay the said raise in electricity bills of January 2013 for the fuel cost incurred for electricity generation in the month of July 2012.

The fuel cost for electricity generation on one unit remained at Rs7.39. However, Nepra had fixed the reference fuel cost at Rs6.43 per unit for the month of July 2012. The decision will not effect electricity consumers of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (Kesc) and it will be effective on the consumers of ex-Wapda electricity distribution companies. Under the notification, lifeline consumers will enjoy the exemption from the said raise in the power tariff.

However, Shaukat Ali Kundi in his dissenting note clearly mentioned that the age of all public sector power plants is over as per the Nepra licences. Expensive electricity is being generated from the said outdated power plants which is unlawful as per the Nepra Act.

According to the note of Kundi, the age of public sector thermal power plants, that include GTPS Kotri 1-2 plants, SPS Faisalabad 1-2 plants, and GTPS 1-8 plants also in Faisalabad, has expired and the period to generate electricity from the said plants has also ended as per their licences. The note by Kundi also reveals that the cost of electricity generation from the said outdated power plants has swelled to Rs25 per unit which is unlawful and also against the interests of masses.

Kundi also pinpointed that the electricity generation companies (Gencos), distribution companies (Discos) and the Central Power Purchase Agency (CPPA) have not yet inked any electricity sale and purchase agreement despite the clear orders of Nepra. These entities are involved in sales and purchase of electricity without any financial discipline which is quite unlawful.

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