The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat was informed on Wednesday that consumers have been charged Rs. 45.06 per unit for electricity. This also includes capacity charges, energy charges, and DISCO’s margin.
The committee meeting was held at Parliament House under the Chairpersonship of Senator Saadia Abbasi. The committee was briefed on the hike in electricity prices and its impact on the general masses. NEPRA Chairman stated that the power regulator is mandated to provide safe and affordable electricity prices to consumers.
He informed that the total electricity capacity of the country is around 44,000 MW. Currently, an average of 25,000 to 26,000 MW of electricity is being produced in the country out of which 70 percent is being produced by IPPs.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan inquired as to whether or not the power generation license to IPPs is being provided by NEPRA. The NEPRA chairman said that the license to IPPs is provided by the government.
The senator argued that the energy crisis of the country cannot be resolved without reviewing the unreliable agreements with the IPP. He said that recent events have proved that NEPRA has failed to provide affordable energy to local consumers and only cares for the interest of IPPs.
Senator Abbasi directed NEPRA to provide details of fuel price adjustment charges and capacity payments being paid to the IPPs.
Furthermore, the senate body deliberated on the proposed increase in gas prices and its country-wide utilization. Officials informed that around 2,900 MMcf of natural gas is being produced in the country including 400 MMcf from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 750 MMcf from Balochistan, 100 MMcf from Punjab, and 1650 MMcf from Sindh.
The committee chairman also inquired about the prospects of the Iran gas pipeline project which has been delayed for a decade. Officials said that negotiations on the Iran gas pipeline have been sped up since last year. Commercial and foreign concerns are the major impediments to the completion of the project.