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Nepra to give Rs26b relief to consumers

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), after a review of previous fuel price adjustment, has now decided to provide worthy relief of Rs 26 billion. However, a notification to this effect would be issued later after Nepra’s public hearing which is scheduled to be held on upcoming October 31.

Following the 11th October decision of giving sky-rocketing hike in the power tariff, today no countryman dares to think about decrease in power tariff. However, to ensure weighty relief for over-burdened masses through a review in fuel price adjustment by the regulator (Nepra), it apparently seems that lady luck has swung into action to protect the common public.

The decision of providing relief has been taken due to certain known and unknown reasons. Due to change in the tariff notification date of power distributing companies (DISCOs) following the issuance of gazette notification of RFC on August 5, 2013 by the power ministry and making it effective from 1st July, 2012. More, due to late submission of applications by the Discos with regulator for determination of RFC, the regulatory authority (Nepra) determined monthly Reference Fuel Cost (RFC) of Discos for the financial year (FY) 2012-13 in April 2013 on the basis of RFC of FY 2011-12. RFCs were made because Nepra could not determine the RFC prior to this determination for the period starting from July 2012 to May 2013, an official at water and power ministry said. Total 74 billion unit of power was sold to the Discos during said period, he added.

Interestingly, according to rules the ministry of water and power after the approval of NEPRA issues gazette notification of RFC and then after the NEPRA starts process of implementation. Official at the ministry of water & power has said that the Nepra was earlier advised to immediately provide relief to power consumers in a high level meeting. The said relief, however, will be given after a review on RFC of July 2012 to May 2013 by Nepra, which was earlier also determined by the regulator. The Nepra is mandated to provide relief to consumers, he added.

Sources in Nepra familiar with the development told that regulator would issue notification later after holding public hearing on the matter of said period of reference fuel cost on 31st October. They said that the power ministry had earlier issued notification of schedule one after Nepra’s determination made on August 5, which was made effective from 1st July, 2012. Earlier, the regulator was advised to provide relief to the masses by reviewing the fuel adjustment of a period starting from July 2012 to May 2013 during a high-level meeting of the power ministry. After Nepra’s review in earlier determined reference fuel cost of 2012-13, regulator has finally decided to provide relief to masses.

The sources also told that Nepra has decided to decrease the price of power used in July by 62 paisa/unit, August 38 paisa, October 42 paisa, November 65 paisa, December 28 paisa, 63 paisa in January 2013, 20 paisa in February, 83 paisa in March, Rs1.54/unit in April, and 71 paisa in May, 2013. However, this relief will not be applicable on domestic power consumers and the power consumers of KESC while rest of domestic, commercial, industrial and agri/ tubewell consumers of power. They also told that following the Nepra’s approval, Discos have so far collected RFC from the consumers in monthly bills starting from July 2012 to March 2013 while the Discos are also set to recover the remaining RFC of April and May 2012 from power consumers in upcoming November and December 2013.

Official document available with TheNation has revealed that the regulatory authority (NEPRA) had approved the Reference Fuel Cost (RFC) for the financial year 2012-13 on the basis of a reference fuel cost of 2011-12. A sum 74 billion unit of electricity was sold to the Discos during July 2012 to May 2013. The NEPRA on the basis of RFC of FY 2011-12 had increased the power tariff of July 2012 by Rs0.85/unit and also decreased the power tariff by Rs0.6/unit in August 2012.

However, the NEPRA had approved increase in the power tariff by Rs0.5/unit for September 2012, Rs0.4/unit for October 2012, Rs0.91/unit for November 2012, Rs1.13/unit for December 2012, while Rs1.56/unit increase for January 2013, and Rs0.63/unit for February, Rs1.33/unit for March2013, Rs0.75/unit for April and Rs1.12/unit for May 2013.

The Nepra had fixed RFC of July 2012 at Rs7.29/unit, Rs6.64/unit for August, Rs7.03/unit for October, Rs7.23/ unit for November, RS8.92/ unit for December 2012, while Rs10.51/ unit for January 2013, Rs8.27/ unit for February, Rs 9.09/ unit for March, Rs8.43/unit for April, Rs7.66/ unit for May 2013.

It is important to note here that actual RFC in July 2012 remained at Rs 7.06/ unit, August Rs7.08/ unit, September Rs6.25/unit, October RS 7.49/unit, November RS 6.97/unit, December Rs7.87/unit, January 2013 RS 9.58/unit, February Rs 7.84unit, April Rs9.98/unit, May Rs8.37/unit.

Again, a decision to increase the price of power used in September 2012 by 15paisa/unit while Nepra had earlier decided to decrease the price of power by 15paisa for the month of September, 2012.

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