The Federal Minister of Power, Khurram Dastgir Khan, announced that the federal government approved an increase of Rs. 3.50 per unit in the national base electricity tariff.
He also promised to look into complaints of overbilling resulting from monthly fuel cost adjustments (FCAs) in the current bills.
Speaking at a press conference, Dastgir said that the federal government would discuss with the Chief Minister of Punjab, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, not clearing time restrictions on businesses since energy conservation was a national issue amid a multifaceted national challenge and Punjab was expected to play a lead role in energy savings as it was the largest province.
Moreover, commenting on CM Punjab’s announcement that traders would be permitted to operate their businesses around the clock, Dastgir hoped that after considering the implications of higher electricity consumption, CM Punjab would desist from pursuing an irresponsible course of action.
The minister, while stating that the government was already looking into ways to mitigate the impact of FCAs, added that billing for August and September would remain at the current level and start dropping every month, starting in November.
As a result of increased consumption and considerably higher FCAs in May, the minister acknowledged that the power bills in July were higher.
Dastgir said that after waiting for end-June recoveries to be secured in July, the government would now assess the performance of power distribution companies (Discos) and make data-based decisions about whether to keep or replace them.
The base tariff will be increased by a total of Rs. 7.9 per unit, as an increase of Rs. 3.5 per unit was previously notified, taking the cumulative increase to Rs. 7 per unit and the remaining Rs. 0.9 per unit will be notified by October. This will increase the base tariff to around Rs. 24 per unit. However, after including the GST and relevant taxes, the per unit cost can touch Rs. 40 per unit for high-end users.