Pakistan government formally announced on Thursday to raise the tariff of power by 1.27 rupees per unit. Approval of this announcement was given at a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Imran Khan, the Prime Minister.
Explaining the media about the decisions of the cabinet, Finance minister Asad Umar has said the loss to the tune of 450 billion rupees was witnessed in power sector in the year 2017 which could reach nearly 550 billion rupees in this year if no further steps were taken to check this. This loss puts the extra burden on ordinary consumers in the form of enhanced rates of electricity or government taking more foreign loans.
He said that NEPRA had recommended nearly 3.82 rupees per unit increase in the price of electricity. This was determined in the month of August this year before the current government assumed power. Asad Umar said “I should clarify that this government had nothing to do with even a penny of this hike. This determination of the price hike was completed in August”. He added that consumers using less than 300 units per month that are 100 million consumers will have no impact of the price increase.
According to this tariff, households that consume between 300 to 700 units in a month would witness a rise in electricity prices of roughly ten percent, while a fifteen percent increase will be made to those people consuming more than 700 units in a month. Because of this move, 95 percent of the consumers will not be affected. On the other hand, for the industrial sector, an increase of only 75 paise per unit would be applicable, whereas the old price would continue on the use of electricity by hospitals and schools. Minister added that subsidized rates of Rs 5.35 per unit for the agriculture sector will continue for this whole financial year. He stated that commercial consumers who consume less than 5 KV of electricity, which he said comprise 95 percent of overall commercial connections, will also remain unaffected by this tariff.
Finance Minister said that no increase has been made in power consumption price for commercial consumers who use connections less than 50 KV. He said that the government is making its utmost efforts to provide great support to the exports industry to enhance its share in the national income. Asad Umar said 140 billion rupees have been saved this year due to the improvement in the electricity distribution system. He added despite a steady increase in the prices of oil worldwide, the petroleum products prices in Pakistan have not been increased by the government.
Speaking on this occasion, Minister for Power, Umar Ayub has said that a campaign against the power thieves will take place from the day after tomorrow i.e.., from Saturday in Lahore and raids will be held at all the establishments where there are reports of power theft. He added that those people caught stealing power will be fined or punished heavily.