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ECC defers power tariff hike yet another time



Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar on Monday has deferred the decision of hike in the power tariff by Rs3.75 per unit yet another time.

During the meeting, Finance Minister underscored the need to improve the collection mechanism of outstanding payments of different departments.

ECC meeting today focused on a one-point agenda regarding the increase in electricity prices. The summary regarding a hike in power tariffs was presented in the ECC meeting today, however, the surge in electricity rates has been postponed once again following an earlier delay in decision which was expected on October 16.

According to summary prepared by the government on October 15, “Recommendations have been made for increase in prices for the years 2016-17 and 2017-18 as per which the price per unit is expected to rise to Rs3.75”.

The summary also included arrears amounting to additional Rs400 billion to be collected from consumers every month. After an increase in the gas tariff, the government is likely to increase the prices of electricity by Rs3.81 per unit.

According to sources, ECC members deferred the decision on the matter and summoned a meeting on Wednesday (October 24) to discuss according approval for the increase in power tariff.

“The government wants to increase the power tariff in two phases,” sources added. “The Ministry of Power has sought permission from National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) regarding increasing the power tariff by Rs3.74/unit in two phases, however, the government is facing difficulty in increasing the price after NEPRA’s new tariff,” the sources further said.

“NEPRA has upheld that the phase-wise rise will further increase the government’s economic problems,” they added.
Earlier this month, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team which visited Pakistan called for a further hike in gas and power tariffs.

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