ISLAMABAD: With the exception of Karachites, the inflation stricken masses are likely to benefit from the Rs31 billion relief after the Ministry of Water and Power issued an advice in this regard to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra).
Nepra had approved the Reference Fuel Cost (RFC) for the financial year 2012-13 in April 2013 only due to late submission of applications by the DISCOs.
As per rules, after approval from Nepra, the Ministry of Water and Power issues gazette notification on RFC, which is then implemented.
The ministry had issued gazette notification of RFC on August 5, 2013 and implemented it on July 1, 2012.
Interestingly, before the issuance of a notification of RFC for the FY 2012-13 by the ministry, Nepra had approved the fuel adjustment for a period starting from July 2012 to May 2013 on the basis of a reference fuel cost of 2011-12.
A sum of 74 billion unit of electricity was sold to the DISCOs during July 2012 to May 2013.
The documents further discloses that Nepra on the basis of RFC of FY 2011-12 had increased the power tariff by Rs0.85/unit for the month of July 2012 and also decreased the power tariff by 0.5/unit in August 2012.
However, the Nepra approved to jack up the power tariff by 0.5/unit for September 2012, Rs0.39/unit for October 2012, Rs0.91/unit for November 2012, Rs1.13/unit for December 2012, Rs1.55/unit for January 2012, Rs0.63/unit for February, Rs1.33/unit for March 2012, Rs0.74/unit for April and Rs1.12/unit for May 2012.
After the notified RFC by the Ministry of Water and Power for the month of July 2012, the electricity price would witness a decline and the difference would cause relief to the masses that is expected soon within the next couple of days.
And, with effect to the notified RFC of the power ministry, the power price would go up by Rs0.33/unit instead of Nepra’s approved Rs0.85/unit.
Similarly, Rs0.45/unit decrease for August 2012 instead of Rs0.5/unit reduction, Rs0.36/unit for September 2012 instead of only Rs0.5/unit, Rs0.46/unit decrease for October 2012 instead of Rs0.46/unit, Rs0.26/unit hike for November 2012 instead of Rs91/unit, Rs1.06/unit raise instead of Rs1.13/unit hike for December 2012 earlier approved by Nepra.
Likewise, instead of Rs1.55/unit hike only Rs0.97/unit increase for January 2013, Rs43/unit raise instead of Rs0.63/unit for February, Rs0.83/unit decrease instead of approved Rs1.33/unit hike for March, Rs1.54/unit reduction for April instead of Rs0.74/unit approved increase, and for the month of May 2013, the per unit of electricity price seems to reduce by Rs0.70 instead of earlier approved increase of Rs1.12/unit by Nepra.
When contacted, Zargham Isahak a spokesman of the Ministry of Water and Power said that Nepra had been advised to provide relief to the masses by reviewing the fuel adjustment of a period starting from July 2012 to May 2013 during a high-level meeting held in August.
Requesting anonymity, Nepra officials also said that a decision regarding provision of relief in per unit of power prices to the common man was likely soon.
They also told that at this stage only two mechanism/options were under consideration to pass on Rs31 billion worthy relief to the general public.
Under option one; Nepra would arrange public hearing on fuel adjustments of 11 months in a bid to pass on total relief to the masses in only one go.
And, under the second option, it has also been considered that Nepra while determining annual tariff for the Fiscal Year 2013-14, would decrease the per unit power price of electricity by average Rs1.70/unit.
“A decision to choose any one option out of the two is likely during upcoming week but consumers of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) would not benefit with the relief,” an official at Nepra said.