Consumers are likely to face a hike of Rs1.95 per unit in electricity tariff as the regulator reserved its judgement on Thursday.

The increase, aimed at applying a uniform electricity tariff, will burden the power consumers with Rs200 billion.

However, the government claims that it will bear a subsidy of Rs186 billion in an effort to implement the uniform tariff for power consumers. The government had given Rs144 billion in subsidy last year.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Thursday conducted a public hearing on a petition of the federal government seeking tariff increase of Rs1.95 per unit.

The government has already announced the tariff hike by Rs1.95 per unit two weeks ago. Earlier, the regulator had allowed an increase of Rs3.34 per unit in the electricity rate for the year 2019-20.

The average tariff was Rs13.35 per unit last year that went up to Rs16.69 per unit following fresh tariff determination by the regulator.

Following that, the Power Division moved a summary to the federal cabinet, seeking an increase in the electricity rate in phases. The cabinet has already approved the tariff hike through the circulation of a summary.

During the hearing, Power Division officials said that the tariff increase would not apply to the consumers of K-Electric. The regulator said that it would hold a separate hearing on the tariff for K-Electric consumers.

Speaking on the occasion, Nepra member said that Section 31 of the Nepra Act had not been implemented that ensured a uniform tariff across the country. He sought legal justification for the increase in electricity rate by Rs1.95 per unit.

Responding to the query, a Power Division official said that the uniform tariff was being sought to meet revenue requirements of the power distribution companies.

Meanwhile, the Power Division joint secretary said that the government was seeking the increase in tariff for all consumers.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2021.

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