Saturday July 02, 2022

Nepra censured for raising power tariff for KE consumers

By Our Correspondent
May 08, 2022

The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) have separately condemned the federal government institutions, particularly the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), for increasing the electricity tariff for Karachi by Rs1.38.

Nepra had on Friday increased the power tariff under fuel adjustment, according to which, the power charges for the K-Electric (KE) consumers were increased by Rs1.38 per unit.

JI’s criticism

In a statement, JI Karachi Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman demanded that the government stop the practice of sheltering and supporting the KE, which was a private company, on the state level and condemned the move of the power regulator to increase the electricity traffic for Karachi.

He urged the federal government to bind the KE to act upon the agreement with the state and increase its production in order to bring an end to load-shedding.

“The KE has not paid back Rs 42 billion to Karachiites and the ruling parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-N, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, need to play their role in the provision of justice to the citizens in Karachi,” he said.

He lamented that despite multiple announcements, the Bin Qasim power generation plant had not yet become fully functional.

He said the KE had not increased its power generation capacity as per the agreement signed between the power utility and the state. He added that the private company was passing on the impacts of its incapability to the public through prolonged load-sheddings.

The JI leader asked the central government to ensure that the Bin Qasim plant became functional.

Rehman noted that the power utility offered electricity at the most expensive rates but the quality of its service was the worst. He asked the government to take notice of the situation to prevent public agitation.

He remarked that the KE had irked the lives of Karachiites through prolonged power outages and overbilling, and now it was allowed to increase the tariff. He added that on top of everything, the private company also enjoyed subsidiaries.

The JI city chief said that being a private company, the KE only thought about increasing its profit but the government was bound to plan for the betterment of the people.

He stated that despite continuous violations of the agreement such as reluctance to make promised investments and increase production capacity, the KE was supported by successive governments.

Rehman demanded that the government end the monopoly of the KE in Karachi. He also asked Nepra to revoke the licence of the power company and arrange a forensic audit of the company's accounts.

GDA protests

The GDA said on Saturday that the coalition federal government had dropped an inflation bomb on Karachi’s residents by increasing the price of electricity for the metropolis by Rs1.38 per unit.

“All parties that are part of the current coalition government have shown their enmity to the city by approving the increase in the electricity tariff,” said Sardar Abdul Rahim, the GDA information secretary.

In a statement issued, he said the coalition government, which had been crying foul over the inflation, had caused a sharp rise in the inflation.

Rahim questioned the silence of political parties over the tariff rise “Why are they [political parties] silent on Nepra’s atrocities?” he asked.