Consumers should not be charged with irrelevant taxes, surcharges in bills: NEPRA

Web Desk
October 01, 2022

Power regulatory authority says electricity is every citizen's basic right, but isn't available to all

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Office of theNational Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). — NEPRA/File

ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), in its State of the Industry Report 2022, said that there are certain surcharges in the electricity bills which have nothing to do with a consumer's power consumption.

NEPRA, in its report, said that there is a need to stop charging consumers with irrelevant taxes and surcharges, while billing system requires restructuring.

The report mentions that the federal government charges consumers with heavy taxes and surcharges using the power utility bills and these charges have nothing to do with electricity consumption. It added that consumers are unnecessarily bearing the burden of the system's poor performance.

The report by NEPRA shared that questions are being raised on various departments and their performance with regard to consumers having to pay them extra via different charges including the television fee. Such departments are receiving flak for not being able to charge consumers directly.

NEPRA's report regarding the power sector states that an increase of Rs107 billion has been observed in capacity payments within the past one year. On the other hand, capacity payments worth Rs721 billion were made from 2021 to 2022, which were only Rs 614 billion until 2021.

According to NEPRA's report, expensive power plants were utilised following the shortage of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which imposed extra burden on consumers worth over Rs19 billion. Despite the demand for electricity across the country, even the best power plants could not be operated.

The report further states that the government suffered loss of Rs55 billion due to its lack of producing power from one of Guddu Power Plant's units.

It stated that six sugar mills have been willing to buy electricity from power companies for the last two years, but these companies are not buying cheaper electricity from their own areas.

NEPRA also said that according to the constitution, electricity is every citizen's basic right; however, it is not available to everyone.

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