K-Electric, power tariff, Karachi, residents, loadshedding

Seeking loadshedding mercy, Karachi residents instead given hike in power tariff

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on July 3 approved up to Rs2.89 per unit increase in electricity tariff for power crisis-hit Karachi with immediate effect.

The ECC meeting presided over by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh also approved about a billion rupees subsidy to two fertiliser plants for three months and about Rs30bn payments to 3.72 million applicants of Ehsaas emergency support.

The ECC discussed the issue of quarterly adjustments of K-Electric for the period between July 2016 and March 2019 involving about Rs4.88 per unit increase in average rate and allowed an average increase of Rs2.39 per unit with immediate effect.

The revision would increase the tariff by Rs1.09 to Rs2.89 per Kwh (unit) for various categories of consumers to be notified over the next couple of days.

The ECC had already approved this increase in its March 26, 2020 meeting with instructions that it should come into force after three months because of Covid-19 outbreak and looming Ramazan.

However, because of ongoing electricity crisis in the city of 15 million, the power division had desired a reaffirmation before a notification was issued. The ECC “affirmed its previous decision”, said an official announcement.

With this increase, the KE tariff has come on a par with the uniform national tariff of about Rs15.21 per unit.

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