Ministry of Water and Power has said that recent 29 paisa increase in the tariff for consumers of all distribution companies, except K-electric, as Equalization Surcharge will not burden consumers and the slight increase was aimed to adjust the negative fuel price adjustment with surcharge for debt servicing on actual basis for revenue requirement of the distribution companies.

Ministry of Water and Power official negated the impression that that power tariff increase was on behest of IMF and would burden the consumers, but said that in fact the government has taken a prudent decision by not burdening the consumers and the increase was in line with the ECC decision of 27th May, 2014. It is a routine adjustment for the books. 29 paisa increase, while at the same time the tariff is decreased on account of PFA by the same amount of 29 paisa. It would have practically no additional burden on the consumers, elaborated ministry official, adding that a surcharge is a temporary arrangement for certain period and not a permanent component of the tariff. Therefore it will not affect the tariff after a specific period.

Regarding the impression created that the surcharge has been imposed to salvage talks with IMF, the officials said that it was long pending issue and the decision has been taken after a detailed deliberation at different levels.

 It was in fact the result of these deliberation that the surcharge was notified at a time when there will be no additional burden on consumers, he added.

The official said that during talks with IMF normally all matters relating to economy come under discussion, however it does not imply that any step taken by government by its own initiative though a proper deliberative process is a requirement of IMF.

This surcharge has been imposed at a time when opposition has been grilling PML-N government over excessive electricity bills delivered to consumers during last couple of months.

Ministry has been justifying that due to power generation through costly fuels more cost incurred in electricity generation during last months when hydel power was less in energy mix due to water shortage.