ISLAMABAD - In line with directions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the government has decided to maintain the power price at the current level and not to burden the electricity consumers with new tariff for the year 2013-14 as determined by Nepra, said a press release by the Ministry of Water and Power on Tuesday.

The average national tariff for the year 2013-14 as determined by Nepra is Rs 13.81/unit while the current average national tariff is Rs 11.52/unit, the release said.  It may be recalled that recently the government has notified 29 paisa/unit equalisation surcharge which has been decided to offset with a reduction of 30 paisa/unit due to fuel price adjustment resulting in zero impact on the consumers.

According to the officials, it has also been decided to continue payment of the subsidy for the domestic and agricultural consumers to lessen the burden of expensive power generation. The decision has been taken by the prime minister to provide relief to the consumers, especially the domestic consumers.

The ministry once gain repeated their old justification of excess bills by saying that the power generation in the country is predominately run on expensive fuel which results in higher generation cost and higher tariff to be paid by the end consumers. The government is making all-out efforts to absorb the impact of the higher tariff and pass on minimum impact to the end consumers, it said, adding the power generation mechanism has also been lined up to ensure running of least expensive plants first and ensure that minimum fuel charges are passed on to the consumers.

In the press release, the Ministry of Water and Power promised to launch new projects with an expected capacity of about 10,400MW, based on cheaper sources of fuel like coal and hydropower, which will result in reduction in cost of generation in the coming years.