ISLAMABAD: Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan said on Thursday that the recent hike in power tariff would have no bearing on 75 per cent of the domestic consumers.
Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, he said the increase would help the government fetch a revenue of Rs80 billion.
Slamming the policies of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) government, the minister said the power tariff was kept unchanged for about a year and a half only to win over voters.
He reiterated that the government would spend Rs25 billion on the improvement of the power system.
The minister mentioned that the flow of circular debt has reduced from Rs38 billion per month to Rs35 billion within a span of three months.
“There is no load-shedding on 80 per cent of the feeders, while the government is taking steps to control electricity theft and introduce new renewable energy projects in the country,” he stated, adding that the incumbent government was bearing the brunt of flawed policies of the past.
“All our steps are as per the laws of the land.”
Khan cleared that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) is an independent power regulator, operating without any kind of pressure.
It is pertinent to mention that in dramatic shocks to power consumers, the government on Wednesday increased electricity tariff by a cumulative Rs2.50 per unit ahead of first quarterly review with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In one of the decisions on Wednesday, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet “approved the additional charge of Rs0.30 per unit” for all consumers of electricity except residential consumers of less than 300 units per month, said an official statement.
In another decision, the NEPRA approved an increase of Rs1.66 per unit under automatic monthly fuel price adjustment for electricity consumed in August to generate about Rs23 billion in additional revenue to the power distribution companies.
NEPRA Chairman Tauseef H Farooqi had confirmed at a public hearing that the regulator was asked at the highest level to allow tariff increase of an average 53-paisa per unit. He said the NEPRA team had worked day and night to deliver on commitments given to the IMF.