Govt avoids burdening power consumers with Rs146bn net hydel profit

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, in a bid to avoid passing on the full burden of power tariff hike to consumers, has decided not to immediately include the already approved Rs146 billion amount of net hydel profit as part of the power tariff.

Well-informed sources in the power division informed this scribe that the government has decided against immediately passing on the burden of power hike to the already over-burdened power consumers of the country on account of net hydel profit, which was approved during the tenure of the previous government.

They said the PTI government, instead of furthering the hike in power price, has advised the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to borrow Rs146 billion from banks and clear the amount.

Sources also said that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) would later make this amount a part of the power tariff in a phased manner over the years.

Available copy of an instant motion submitted by the power division with NEPRA disclosed that the power division has sought from NEPRA the uniform schedule of tariffs of the distribution companies (DISCOs). The government desired that as per the previous policy in vogue, the uniform tariff should be made applicable as per the provisions of section 31(4) of the NEPRA Act.

The power division in its motion has also advocated that section 31(4) of the NEPRA Act provides that the authority (NEPRA) shall determine a uniform tariff for distribution licensee, wholly-owned and controlled by a common shareholder, on the basis of consolidated accounts. However, the authority forwarded the consumer end tariff recommendations on an individual basis without consolidation of the respective revenue requirements leading to the uniform tariff.

“In view of the period of one year prescribed in section 50 of the act, it is proposed that the revenue requirement of each XWDISCO (Ex-WAPDA power distributing company), determined by NEPRA on the basis of individual accounts of each XWDISCO, be consolidated so that the consolidated revenue requirement be reflective of consolidated accounts,” said the instant motion of the power division.

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