The PTI government has increased power tariff by 40 percent over the past three years but despite the increase in price circular debt has doubled.

This was stated by Additional Secretary Power Division, Waseem Mukhtar, before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Power.

He said since coming into power in 2018, the PTI government has increased the electricity rate from Rs11.72 to Rs16.44.

The energy sector circular debt was Rs2.28 trillion on June 30, 2021. In just one month, it reached Rs2.324 trillion, Waseem added.

This increase in circular debt is a direct outcome of government’s unpaid subsidies with distribution companies who are bearing its brunt, he continued.

Waseem brought to the committee’s attention the fact that NEPRA had advised an increase of Rs3.34 per unit in base tariff. But the government passed Rs1.95 per unit on to the consumers in February this year.

The remaining increase is a “political decision” and will be passed on to the consumers when the government deems appropriate, he said.

He also revealed that the government owes Rs1.3 trillion to the IPPs (independent power producers).

He stressed on re-negotiating agreements with the IPPs which will provide the much-needed economic relief to the consumers.

INFLATED BILLS: The issue of inflated electricity bills being charged to consumers was also brought up before the committee by Agha Rafiullah from Karachi who alleged that billions of rupees had been extorted by Karachi Electric through delayed meter readings.

Other members also voiced their concerns regarding similar practices in state-owned distribution companies (Discos).

NEPRA Vice Chairperson Rafique Ahmed Sheikh informed the MNA from Karachi that the regulatory body’s advisor is looking into the matter and a report has been sought from K-Electric and other power distribution companies, with power division officials confirming that consumers had been over-charged during Eid-ul-Azha and Muharram holidays.

Agha Rafiullah called for returning the over-charged amount to the affected customers.

A sub-committee was also appointed by the committee to consider the issues faced by the legislators pertaining to K-Electric, DISCOs and GENCOs of Sindh. The sub-committee will be headed by MNA Lal Chand, with Engineer Sabir Hussain Khan Kaimkhani, Saira Bano and Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah as members.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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