ISLAMABAD-The Senate standing committee on Power on Friday suggested the government to withdraw Rs 66 billion extra subsidy being provided to the industrial sector under Karachi Electric.

The Senate standing committee on Power that met here with Senator Fida Muhammad in the chair was informed by the Power Division that the Nepra has approved an increase of Rs4.88 per unit for the K-Electric Consumers and the federal government will notify it next week. The committee discussed various issues of the power sector, monthly fuel price and quarterly adjustments.

Power division additional secretary Waseem Mukhtar said that the increased was made by Nepra for the quarterly adjustments. The delay in the quarterly adjustment has also affected the financial condition of the K-Electric, he said. However the additional secretary said that the Federal government will notify the tariff increase next week. The increase if approved by the federal government will have an impact of Rs 106 billion the K-Electric Consumers.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had earlier this week allowed an increase of around Rs 4.88 per unit in the electricity prices to K-Electric on account of quarterly adjustments for the period from Jul.-Sep. 2016 to Jan.-Mar. 2019.

The committee noted that the K-Electric’s power consumers have been heavily burdened with increased tariff. Chairman of the Committee observed that if the government will transfer such a huge burden to the consumers of K-Electric there will be hue and cry.

NEPRA official said that this increase in tariff has been made under previous 11 quarters adjustments. Now, it is with the federal government to further take final decision on it.

Senator Nauman Wazir raised the issue of huge subsidy to the Industrial sector under K-Electric. He said that the subsidy of Rs66 billion to the industrial consumers under K-Electric should be withdrawn as this facility has already been expired six-month ago. He said, it is the incapability of the power division that it did not notified the ending of Rs3 per unit subsidy to the industrial consumers, despite this facility has ended in July 2019.

The representatives of Pakistan Steel Mills Association also participated in the meeting. The representatives of the Association complained that because of the quarterly adjustments the steel mills are receiving additional Rs 10 million electricity bills. They said that the steel mills cannot take the abnormal burden of electricity price hike and many steel mills are at the verge of closure.