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Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir on Tuesday said that the cabinet has given its green signal to rebasing the power tariff under which the government has raised electricity rates by Rs3.5 per unit on an immediate basis.

Addressing a press conference, Dastgir, sitting alongside Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik, said the increase in tariff was already being reflected in fuel surcharges. He said that after the increase in power tariff, the amount charged in fuel cost adjustments would go down as it would be reflected in the tariff.

Dastgir told media persons that the increase in tariff would be done in phases.

Khurram Dastgir confident inflation will slow down from September

“In the first phase, tariff would increase by Rs3.5 per unit from 26th July onwards. In August, the tariff would move up by another Rs3.5 per unit, which would be enhanced again by Rs0.90 in October,” said Dastgir, adding that the electricity tariff would go downwards from November.

Dastgir said the average electricity calculated for the month of June stood at Rs21.50 per unit. “Thus the electricity price would increase till December, and would then reduce to Rs24 per unit as the government would receive a major chunk of fuel adjustments till then,” he said.

The minister said that prices of energy commodities including coal and gas have increased in the international market. “We are receiving gas from friendly countries under long-term agreements. However, it has been difficult to purchase more than that,” he said.

The minister said that the government remains adamant to safeguard the interest of the poverty-stricken masses. “The coming few months are going to be difficult,” warned the minister, “however the situation would improve in November and December.”

Inflation in Pakistan hits 21.3%, highest since Dec 2008

The minister added that the cabinet approval has come on condition that it will have no burden on the poorest consumers.

The power minister said that the cabinet was told that the refuelling of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant-2 has been completed, and it is providing 1,100MW of electricity to the grid. “Similarly, the production of Tarbela has increased to 4,500MW, we are seeing progress in it as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of the State for Petroleum Musadik Malik said that the previous government did not announce rebasing since February 2021. “However, the customers were paying the price in the garb of fuel price adjustments,” he said.

Malik said that over 13 million households, which translates into 45% of the country’s population, would remain unaffected by the latest tariff hike.

Last month, the National Electric Power Regulator Authority (NEPRA) approved an increase of Rs7.9 per unit in the tariff of ex-Wapda distribution companies for the month of May under the monthly Fuel Charges Adjustment (FCA) mechanism.

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