ISLAMABAD - The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has notified Rs 1.01/unit hike in power tariff on account of monthly fuel price adjustment, which would be collected through monthly bills of February.Earlier, the regulatory authority on 27th January had increased the per unit electricity price by Rs1.08/unit under the head fuel price adjustment for the months of October and November 2013. The fuel cost incurred on thermal power generation in the month of October 2013 was registered at Re0.75 per unit more than the fixed price and in the month of November 2013, the fuel cost stayed at Re0.33 per unit than the fixed price, which the Nepra had fixed for the month of November. And, as per the regulator’s notification, power consumers other than KESC and lifeline consumers would bear an extra burden of Rs8 billion in February.Similarly, this time Nepra has once again jacked up power price by Rs1.01/unit under monthly fuel price adjustment of December and exposed the consumers to another surge in power tariff which would be collected from the power consumers through the monthly bills of February too. The power distributing companies (Discos) had sold 6.70 billion units of power during December. However, this hike would not be applicable on the power consumers of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and lifeline consumers using 50 units in a month. “Interestingly, already over-burdened power consumers, as per this new notification, would pay additional Rs15 billion in the monthly bills of February under the head monthly fuel price adjustment of three months of October, November & December 2013,” a senior official at water & power ministry said on condition of anonymity, adding, “Placing the burden of fuel price adjustment of three months and its collection from the power consumers by the Discos in a single month is unlawful”. He also said that the cost of the fuel incurred on thermal power generation was passed on to the consumers and all the electric power distribution companies would collect from consumers an additional Rs15 billion through the electricity bills in the next month of February. However, the lifeline consumers consuming only 50 units a month will not be exposed to the raise in tariff. The energy experts, when contacted, said this additional burden of power tariff hike would destabilise the monthly budget of salaried class, besides adding miseries to lives of daily wagers and other vulnerable segments of the society already facing high inflation. Similarly, power consumers for a longtime are facing hours-long outages coupled with sky rocketing power tariff hike that had so far added to their woes. Moreover, this hike would cause more power theft, low recovery and further inflation in the days ahead in the country.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 07-Feb-2014 here.