Tuesday December 06, 2022

Govt may finalise relief package in gas, power tariff with PM Imran today

March 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government is vigorously working to give relief to masses on gas and electricity tariff in the wake of economic impact of Coronavirus and top mandarins of the Petroleum Division and Power Division (Energy Ministry) will give today (Monday) a briefing to Prime Minister Imran Khan on their respective workings.

Meanwhile, the top man of the Petroleum Division has also asked the authorities concerned in both gas companies, Sui Northern and Sui Southern, to start working out the financial impact if the lifeline gas consumers are extended a waiver as long as the lockdown is there. Senior officials of the Petroleum Division will also sensitise the prime minister about their working on this very issue.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of Power Division Zafar Yab Khan also tweeted saying that due to corona situation, the federal government was working on a relief package in the power sector for businesses and the people of the entire country. The tweet also says that Monday (tomorrow), a high-level meeting is to be chaired by the prime minister in this regard. A lot of work is already going on in the Power Division in this regard, therefore, it is advisable that provinces do not announce any relief unilaterally for power sector. "All of Pakistan is in it together."

"Yes, we are working as to how to provide solace to domestic, commercial and industrial sectors to mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19 but nothing is yet finalized," Secretary Power Irfan Ali told The News. Sindh has gone for 15 days lockdown and the impact for 15 days would be worked out. And if other federating units follow the decision of the Sindh government, then the impact would be different as the daily wage employees will be adversely affected and lifeline consumers would be extended the relief package. "But it all yet to be finalised in the meeting with the prime minister."

A senior official, however, privy to the working being done at the CPPA (Central Power Purchase Agency) office, said that working on various scenarios was on and nothing had been yet finalized.

He hinted that the monthly fuel adjustment will be no more positive, rather in the month of May it would turn into negative in tariff. Apart from it, in the head of the quarterly tariff adjustment, solace would also be provided to the masses. In addition, the flat tariff regime would also be offered to commercial and industrial sectors with compound effect of rationalization in tariff in the head of Fuel Price Adjustment and Quarterly Tariff adjustment. More importantly, the loss management drive will be relaxed.

"Since there is a massive decline in crude oil prices in international market and it has provided massive solace to the government of the day, it will be passed on to power consumers as 70 percent electricity is being generated on imported fuel whether it is RLNG, furnace oil and coal. The price of RLNG has gone down to about $2 per MMBTU. More importantly, the RLNG price which is locked at 13.37 percent of Brent with Qatar has also nosedived to $3.8 per MMBTU."

However, another official at the Power Division said that November onwards, no fuel adjustment price was extended. However, the impact of massive decline in crude oil price in global market would appear in the Month of May on electricity tariff.