KESC tariff raised by 12-20 paisa per unit: residential and agri consumers spared

ISLAMABAD (April 13 2003) : The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Saturday raised Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) tariff by 12-20 paisa per unit for all consumer groups, excluding residential and agriculture, with immediate effect, official sources told Business Recorder here on Saturday.

Nepra, sources said, has allowed raise in tariff to KESC as interim relief in accordance with Automatic Tariff Adjustment (ATA) formula. However, detailed determination would be announced next week.

According to the determination, power tariff has been increased by 12 paisa per unit for commercial consumers, 20 paisa for industrial, 20 paisa for bulk, 20 paisa for public lighting and 20 paisa for railway tracks, respectively.

However, for the first time tariff for residential and agriculture consumers has not been increased in the interim determination.

Sources said the government would not seek Prime Minister's approval for raise in tariff as it did in the case of Wapda, arguing that interim relief to any utility does not require approval of any authority.

The issuance of notification may take some days, but it would be implemented from the date of announcement.

KESC had asked for the raise in power tariff under quarterly fuel based Automatic Tariff Adjustment formula, but Nepra needed ample time to give detailed determination for raise in power tariff taking into account calculations of KESC with regard to raise in fuel prices in international market during last quarter.

Sources said that furnace oil prices in the global market have increased from Rs 10,437 per tonne on December 17, to Rs 13,022 tonne on March 3, but decreased to Rs 12,405 per tonne.

This fluctuation in prices increased the fuel bill of utility, which has to be passed on to the consumers as per Automatic Fuel Adjustment formula.

The government, sources said, recently extended Rs 5 billion to KESC to clear the outstanding dues of independent power producers (IPPs), Wapda and gas companies.

Though the utility had sought government guarantee against Rs 6 billion from the consortium of commercial banks, Finance Ministry did not agree with the justification and reduced it to Rs 5 billion.

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