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CJ Iftikhar tells govt to take people onboard on power tariff

22 October, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Monday remarked that the government must take people on board while fixing the power tariff, otherwise people would raise questions on government's practice of carrying out load shedding and hiking the electricity rates simultaneously.

A three-member bench of the apex court led by the chief justice heard the load shedding case. During the proceedings, Chief Justice Iftikhar said that the petition pertaining to setting power tariff was filed in July 2012. He asked the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) as to how the electricity rates are fixed. The NEPRA chairman replied that the authority increased the power tariff on the request of the federal government.

Meanwhile, Justice Jawwad S Khwaja remarked that the court showed patience because the government was itself withdrawing the notification of hike in prices. He said that the masses could not understand while reading their electricity bills which tax has been imposed on them. The hearing of the case would resume today (Tuesday).

NEPRA had last week notified revised electrify tariff without much change. The documents obtained from NEPRA also confirmed that the government was not going to provide any relief to the consumers and would maintain the same raise in power tariff it had earlier notified. It is noteworthy that a raise was notified on September 30, which was later withdrawn.

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