ISLAMABAD - Government is all set to increase power tariff from 10 to 20 percent from 1st July as a first step. Different power distribution companies have approached the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority for increase in power tariff for all types of consumers. As if it were not enough, the electricity supply companies of Multan, Peshawar and Gujaranwala are demanding tariff increases due to high input cost and investments in the expansion plans. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority has accepted applications of the power companies for public hearing. After the policy announcements by the government to reduce subsidies on energy sector, the masses have to be prepared for rising electricity, gas and oil rates. The first step has already been taken by these three electric companies. In its application the Multan Electric Power Company says it expects cost increase of around 20 percent in the financial year 2008-09. The hearing date for MEPCO is July 1st. The company also plans to invest 5.34 billion rupees in the next financial year and demands from the regulator to increase the commercial and residential tariff for consumers using above 50 units. An increase for the industrial consumers is also being demanded. It says as the company is facing a power shortage, no growth is expected in the next fiscal year. It is mainly due to this shortage that the company has low transmission and distribution losses at 18 percent, compared to 33 percent by the Peshawar Electricity Supply Company. The Peshawar Electric Supply Company says that it expects the sales growth of 6.18 percent in the next financial year, while the investment plan for the next year is estimated at 3.82 billion rupees. Its hearing date is July 2nd. A similar application has been filed by the Gujaranwala Electric Supply Company. It is also worried about the rising prices of fuel. But the company has intelligently concealed its line losses, and the details of its investment plans and the T&D losses are available in the complete petition document. Its hearing date is June 26th. The companies are also seeking permission from the regulator to increase the fixed and other charges for certain categories. Sources in NEPRA told this scribe that other electric supply companies had also filed applications for an increase in tariff. Hearing date for these companies will be announced by NEPRA after scrutiny of the petitions.