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Govt increase of electricity tariff by Rs 1.27 per unit

26 October, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday announced an increase of Rs 1.27 per unit in the electricity tariff. Addressing media after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Finance Minister Asad Umar said electricity prices would not be increased for domestic consumers using 300 units or less in a month. However, households that consume between 300 and 700 units in a month would witness a rise in electricity prices of roughly 10 per cent, while a 15 per cent increase will be made for those consuming above 700 units in a month, the minister said, adding that 95 per cent of the consumers will not be affected by the move. For the industrial sector, an increase of only 75 paisa per unit would be applicable, whereas the old price would continue on use of electricity by schools and hospitals, the minister said, adding the subsidized rates of Rs 5.35 per unit for the agriculture sector will continue for the whole financial year. He said commercial consumers who consume less than 5KV of electricity, which he said comprise 95 per cent of overall commercial connections, will also remain unaffected.

The minister revealed that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) had proposed a hike of Rs 3.82 per unit. However, after several considerations by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), the federal cabinet has given a go ahead to an increase of Rs 1.27 per unit. “The reason behind the consistent delay in deciding the power tariffs by the government was because we could not want to put unjustified burden on the masses,” he added.

Quoting the figures of last year, the minister said a loss of Rs 453 billion was incurred by the government due to the power sector alone. He said Pakistan’s economy had weakened because of massive losses in the energy sector, and that the revised tariff was part of government’s efforts to address the issue. He said the government has decided to install meters on transformers to identify power theft, adding that Rs 140 billion have been saved this year due to improvement in the electricity distribution system.

To a question regarding criticism by the opposition parties for approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asad Umar remarked the previous government had brought the country on the brink of disaster and now the option of seeking monetary assistance from the IMF can only be avoided if the export sector is boosted enormously. He said the government was making efforts to give support to the exports industry to enhance its share in the national income.

He said despite steady increase in oil prices worldwide, the prices of petroleum products in Pakistan have not been increased by the government.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Power Umar Ayub said a campaign against power thieves will start from Saturday in Lahore and raids will be conducted at places where there are reports of power theft. He said those caught stealing power would be fined heavily.

Speaking on the occasion, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary said the cabinet has decided that first Pakistani will be sent to the space in 2022. An agreement has been signed to this effect between SUPARCO and its Chinese counterpart. He

He said cabinet has accorded approval to appointment of Lt Gen Abdullah Dogar as chairman of the Heavy Industries Taxila.

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