ECC Okays Yet Another Hike in Power Tariff to Recover Outstanding Dues

The government has decided to recover the outstanding Rs. 17.15 billion in fuel price adjustments (FCA) from power consumers, allowing an increase of Rs. 2.27 per unit in the power tariff.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has been allowed to recover Rs. 17.2 billion from consumers for the period when Pakistan was facing the first phase of COVID-19.

The decision was made in the sub-committee of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) led by Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Shaukat Tarin. Held under a hybrid arrangement for only around 10 minutes, the meeting of ECC led by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Omar Ayub, immediately stamped the decisions.

As per the decision, electricity prices will further jack up by Rs 2.27 per unit, following a recent increase of Rs. 1.39 per unit by NEPRA. However, instead of recovering FCA, the government will collect the outstanding amount through quarterly price adjustments.

Official sources confirmed that it was in line with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) recommendations to recover the outstanding amount as Pakistan sought to resume the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the international money lender.

“On another summary moved by the Power Division regarding the decision of the authority in the matter of fuel charges adjustment for the months of November 2019 to June 2020, the ECC, after due deliberation, recommended that the federal government may issue guidelines to Nepra and also require it to reconsider its decision dated 07 August 2020 to allow recovery of pending FCA as prior year adjustment in rebasing decision which is under process at Nepra,” reported the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

In the same meeting, the committee also decided to cancel the import of 2.1 million tons of wheat.

“The ECC recommended the summary tabled by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research recommending that keeping in view the sufficient current public stock position of wheat flour, demand and supply situation, international wheat prices and local releases to flour mills, there is no need for further import of wheat at this point in time,” announced the Ministry after the meeting.