Nepra okays Rs1.52 per unit hike for K-Electric consumers

K electric seeks $400 million

KARACHI: In response to the federal government’s request, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) granted approval on Thursday for a surcharge increase of Rs1.52 per kWh for Karachi Electric (KE) consumers.

This approval is subject to a federal cabinet nod for notification. The hike is expected to impose a significant burden of Rs24.50 billion on power consumers.

According to the details, the surcharge will be applicable for a year, spanning from December 2023 to November 2024.

It’s important to note that while the power regulator has approved the tariff increase, it will not impact the lifeline customers of the sole power provider in Pakistan’s largest city.

The decision to allow the surcharge, as per the NEPRA Act’s Section 31(8), empowering the Federal Government for surcharge imposition to fulfil financial obligations, was influenced by the Ministry of Energy’s response and the filed motion.

NEPRA has greenlit the recovery of Rs1.52/kWh from K-Electric consumers (excluding lifeline customers) for the twelve-month period mentioned above.

The government has implemented various measures to raise gas and power tariffs, aiming to address the circular debt and meet the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Pakistan is anticipated to receive $700 million from the IMF, enhancing the nation’s foreign reserves and aiding in debt repayment.

Caretaker Minister for Finance, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, has expressed the interim government’s commitment to further increasing electricity and gas tariffs.

Plans include raising gas prices in January 2024 to tackle the circular debt issue.

The circular debt in the power and gas sectors has surpassed 4 per cent of the gross domestic product, prompting urgent action.

According to Akhtar, the government has initiated measures, and adjustments in electricity and gas rates have been made accordingly.

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