Govt raises power rates a day after Saudi bailout

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ECC approves increase in tariff for consumers using more than 300 units, allows five per cent decrease in electricity rates for agriculture sector

–Consumers using 300-700 units will pay 10 per cent more while those using 700-1500 units will be charged 15 per cent extra.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday approved a 10 per cent increase in the power rates for consumers using more than 300 units.

The decision was taken in a committee meeting headed by Finance Minister Asad Umar.

According to the new tariffs, those consuming 300-700 units will be taxed 10 per cent while consumers of 700-1500 units and above will have to pay 15 per cent more.

Commenting on the government’s decision to hike the power tariff, Umar said that the decision was inevitable due to the growing circular debt and economic challenges facing the country.

“However, the government has decided to decrease the power tariff for the agricultural sector by five per cent,” he said.

During the last meeting on October 22, ECC members had deferred the decision on an increase in the power tariff and decided to meet on Oct 24 to consider it.

According to earlier reports, the government wanted to increase the power tariff in two phases.

“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,” a media report said quoting ministry officials.