Islamabad - National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has said that the decision on the government request to regularise increase in power tariff by Rs1.27 per unit can be made only after the completion of the quorum of the regulatory body.

Nepra could conduct hearing even with one member, however the decision regarding any matter related to Discos cannot be made till the quorum completed, said member Nepra Punjab during a public hearing. The federal government has sought approval of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to regularize increase in power tariff by Rs 1.27 per unit.

Nepra conducted a public hearing to regularize the increase in power tariff . The representative of Power Division informed during the hearing that government had already increased average power tariff by Rs 1.27 per unit. If the power tariff hike was approved by the Nepra it will enable the government to implement the uniform tariff across the country.

The decision to increase the average power tariff by Rs 1.27 per unit will jack up the existing uniform power tariff of Rs 11.71 per unit to Rs 12.98 per unit, said the official of the Power Division.

During hearing, the question was raised over the lack of quorum of Nepra and legality of conducting public hearing by two members. It is pertinent to mention here that presently, Nepra is working with two members (Member Punjab and Baluchistan) while three post including Federal Member (chairman Nepra) and members Sindh and KP are vacant. Legally the regulatory body requires three members quorum to make a decision.

During the hearing, Nepra member (Punjab) Saif Ullah Chattha admitted that three members were required to decide any matter relating to power distribution companies (Discos). However, he said that even one member of Nepra could conduct hearing. He further said that hearing of the authority was recorded and decision of uniform power tariff would be given after third member is appointed and joins the office. This was reason that Nepra members reserved the judgment which would be announced after third member joins the authority.

Joint secretary Power Division Zargham Ishaq Khan said that power regulator had determined increase in power tariff by Rs3.80 per unit for power distribution companies (Discos) but federal government had made average increase in power tariff by Rs 1.27 per unit. He said that government would give subsidy for the domestic consumers using less than 300 units per month.

Zargham Ishaq said that government had set the target for power distribution companies to bring improvement and efficiency in the system that would generate Rs 140 billion revenue. He said that government would not able to receive Rs 80 billion on account of net hydel profit from the consumers.

The representative of textile sector said that the sector was facing problems due to depreciation of rupees against dollar. The representative of Power division responded that power division would move a summary soon to economic coordination committee recommending to set fixed date for issuing electricity bill to the textile sector to overcome the issue of exchange rate.

The representative of K-electric raised question whether government would set uniform tariff for K electric consumers or they would have separate tariff. Representative of power division assured uniform tariff would also be notified for K electric as well along with other distribution companies.